Friday 9th June 2023

Nepal Air Crashes: CAAN Enforces Strict Air Safety Guidelines

The guideline will incorporate flight planning, pilot experience to handle VIP flight movement and other required weather-related procedures


Nepal Air Crashes: CAAN Enforces Strict Air Safety Guidelines

Nepal civil aviation authority is formulating new air safety guidelines that would ensure unexpected failures or crashes in the Nepali air space.

Following the chopper crash that killed seven officials including Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has announced measures for operational safety of helicopters flying the region.

In this regard, the country’s aviation experts are currently preparing VIP flight guidelines for choppers while also welcoming foreign experts to conduct operational safety assessments.


“We have given the helicopter safety team two weeks to prepare the VIP flight guideline. The guideline will basically incorporate flight planning, pilot experience to handle VIP flight movement and other required procedures related to weather and terrain,” CAAN Deputy DG Rajan Pokhrel said in a statement.

Pokharel further informed that the new measures are part of the International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 19 mandates for implementing safety management system.

According to officials, the new rule also enforces strict following of instructions even in case of emergencies that demand change in pilot’s decision.

It is noteworthy here that the recent crash of Air Dynasty chopper happened after the Captain Prabhakar KC reported “heavy snowfall and not able to airborne”.

However, KC proceeded further and had hit a mountain cliff. What forced the captain to proceed is the matter under probe!

“The new guideline will strictly enforce this rule and hopefully develop a culture to refuse to fly when the situation is not favorable,” adds Pokharel.

Load factor is another key aspect that the experts laid emphasis on! Towards this end, the regulator urged the operators of AS350 B3e helicopter to temporarily bring down the bench seat to the level of pilot’s seat in high-altitude conditions.

“Based on the experts’ advice that reducing load can increase choppers flying performance, we decided to reduce one seat from the AS350 B3e helicopters while flying in high-altitude areas,” said Pokhrel.

It is noteworthy that adverse climatic conditions is among the top reasons for flight crashes in Nepali air space!

The regulator also announced to stop flying choppers at a helipad in Gorak Shep, located at 5,164 metres elevation near Everest Base Camp, owing to the region’s fast-changing weather conditions.

“We have asked the operators to find an alternative to Gorak Shep. We will assess the new area before allowing helicopters to perform their operation from the new base,” Pokharel informed.

The latest decision is coming in the light of debate over growing number of chopper crashes in Nepali airspace.

Hope the new regulations would come as savior in controlling the unexpected air accidents.

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