September 30: The government has formed a probe committee to suggest measures for the improvement of the country's aviation sector in order to make air service secured and effective.
The decision was taken just two days after a technical snag forced an aircraft of Buddha air with 73 people on board travelling from Kathmandu to Biratnagar to return back to Kathmandu.
However, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said it had been considering an investigation to check the condition of domestic aircraft which have reportedly faced technical glitches since the past few years.
A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday (September 29) took a decision to form the five-member committee under the coordination of Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, joint-secretary at the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, other members of the committee include former director of the Civil Aviation Authority Nepal (CAAN), Bhesh Raj Subedi, senior captain Krishna Bahadur Poudel and under-secretary of Tourism Ministry Pramod Nepal. CAAN manager Laxman Devkota has been designated as a member-secretary of the probe committee, states the press release.
The committee was formed to take stock of physical, mechanical and other conditions of airplanes and helicopters of airlines companies operating domestic flights in Nepal.
According to the ministry, the committee has been given a deadline of three months to submit an investigative report on the physical and mechanical status of aircraft operational in Nepal.
The committee will also examine the audit reports of the aircrafts belonging to the domestic airline companies that have been operating both internal and international flights from Nepal. It has also been entrusted with the responsibility to examine whether the airline companies have met the criteria related to the aircraft crew members or not and to check if the companies have been complying with the aviation safety standards outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The press statement issued by the ministry states that it is essential to make the flights flawless.
The committee is expected to make recommendations for improving aviation safety after completing the probe.
The committee has been given the authority to recommend action against any company that has not been following the aviation safety standards. The government can ban flights and keep the aircraft grounded if any airline operator is found to have breached the aviation safety protocol.