With the growing number of accidents in the domestic sector, Nepal’s air safety issue has drawn an international concern. Along with ICAO, European Union has also put Nepal in its list of unsafe skies.
Frustrated by continual banning from two institutions, Nepalese aviation authorities have finally heaved a sigh of relief as Japan has agreed to provide support to install the new radar with a wide coverage to make Nepal’s sky safe.
Following two major accidents in 1993, Nepalese aviation sector had faced a difficult situation. With the crashing of Thai Airline and PIA, Nepalese authorities had lost their faith in the skies. Coming with a proposal to install the first radar to increase surveillance, JICA supported Nepal to come back in the safe sky scene.
Although Nepal has made a lot of progress to improve its security capability, ICAO and European Union still believe that Nepal needs to do a lot of improvement before lifting the ban.
With a few equipment, Nepal’s capacity for surveillance of air capacity is very limited now. The existing radar, which was installed in 1998, covers 100 kilometers in area. However, the new radar which is likely to start from coming November will cover entire Nepal.
“As installment of the equipment has already been completed, the new radar will be operational after conducting performance checkout of the radar flight inspection in September,” said MasaotoNomiya, chief advisor of JICA.
Nepalese experts argue that the new radar will qualitatively improve air safety in Nepal. “As Radar is a major instrument of surveillance. What I can say is that the radar is the eye for the controller. Air Traffic Controller can see all the aircraft through this. As it is said that seeing is believing, this radar will give the controller complete chance of surveillance of the aircraft. It will greatly enhance air safety in Nepal,” said Sanjeev Singh Kathayat, head of planning division of CAN.
For a mountainous country based on tourism, air transport is its lifeline. Thus air safety is a major part. With the installation of the radar, Nepal will benefit a lot. Since Japan’s support is helping Nepal to transform various areas, the radar will make Nepal’s air safe to fly.