Airline Operators Urge Govt to Allow Helicopter Flights to Restricted Areas

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Airline Operators Urge Govt to Allow Helicopter Flights to Restricted Areas
This file photo taken from Simrik Air's website show's the company's helicopters in the Himalayan region

December 10: Airline operators of Nepal have urged the government to give permission to operate helicopters in restricted areas.  They argued that it is necessary to remove the flight restriction to assure tourists in advance about the flights.

They made such request during a meeting with Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai on Monday to discuss about ways to promote the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign.

The airline operators were of the view allowing helicopters to fly to restricted areas would help promote VNY 2020.

The government has marked 73 areas of 13 districts in the northern frontier as ‘no fly zone’.

Airline operators have to take permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) seven days in advance to fly to the restricted areas. Prior to that, the airline companies must first get recommendation from the tourism ministry and then approval from the home ministry and the concerned district administration office before CAAN gives the go ahead to operate flights in the restricted areas.

The airline operators said this process is quite lengthy and tiresome and have demanded easy access to such areas to promote tourism, said Rameshwar Thapa, chairman of Airline Operators Association of Nepal.

The airline companies have also urged the government to lower the landing charge and other charges to make the VNY 2020 a success.

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