Nepal tightens flight safety guidelines

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has announced guidelines to improve flight safety in the country, following the crash of a Tara Air turboprop aircraft on May 29, 2022.

Addressing complex geographical and climatic conditions, the aviation authority said airlines will have to suspend operations in case of bad weather conditions.

The authority also added that airlines will have to collect weather information and submit it to ATS. [Air Traffic Service – ed. note] Reports Office. The flight plan could only be approved by the bureau, CAAN added.

The guidelines also included a CAAN proposal, which would make it mandatory for at least two pilots to fly a single-engine aircraft.

On May 29, 2022, the Tara Air De Havilland Canada DHC-6/300 Twin Otter turboprop, registration 9N-AET and bound for Jomson Airport (JMO), took off from Pokhara Airport (PKR) at 9:53 a.m. . It lost contact with the airport tower at 10:07 a.m., Nepal’s aviation authority said in an official statement.

Shortly after the plane went missing, two helicopters were deployed to locate the plane. The wreckage was located in an isolated mountainous area in the Dhaulagiri region, a day after the plane disappeared from radar. The aviation authority confirmed that no survivors had been found.

Nepal has one of the worst aviation safety records in the world. Bad weather conditions, steep mountains, lack of training and old planes are often responsible for accidents in the country. The European aviation regulator has banned all Nepalese airlines from its airspace since 2013 due to its poor safety record.

Tara Air has had three plane crashes since 2010. In 2016, a Tara Air plane crashed in a mountainous area flying from Pokhara to Jomson, killing 23 people. Prior to the 2016 accident, Tara Air suffered a fatal accident in 2010, killing 22 people including three crew members.

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