Govt setting up independent agency to probe air accidents

etravelpress

Crash site of Sita Air’s Dornier aircraft in Bhaktapur district.
Pic: BBC Files

The government is setting up an independent aircraft accident investigation agency as part of its preparation to meet international obligations for improving aviation safety and preventing accidents in the future.

According to officials of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the agency will probe aircraft accidents and recommend measures to prevent such accidents in the future. It will also help improve the quality of aviation service in the country by identifying factors causing air accidents in Nepal.

The tourism ministry had recently formed a committee to study the matter and provide its report to the government. It has also said that the government can collect service charge from airlines, airports and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), among others, to arrange financial resources for the to-be-formed body. The agency will have a pool of experts who will act as investigators.

Currently, aircraft accidents are investigated by an ad hoc investigation committee that the tourism ministry forms as soon as the accidents occur. Such committees are formed as per the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accident) Regulations 2014

Air safety manual of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires each member state to establish an independent organization to conduct investigations into aircraft accidents and incidents that come within the jurisdiction of the state.

Earlier in July, ICAO removed Nepal from the list of Significant Safety Concerns (SSC) after it achieved 66 percent compliance rate – above the global standard of 60 percent.

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