A Yeti Airways ATR 72-500 plane crashed in Pokhara in central Nepal on January 15 2023, killing not less than 69 individuals on board. The plane was en route from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu to Pokhara, the nation’s second largest metropolis, located beneath the picturesque Annapurna mountain vary.
Whereas the picturesque panorama of the nation appeals to vacationers, it poses vital challenges to aviation operators, who must embrace and navigate the difficult setting.
The air crash on Sunday was Nepal’s worst aviation catastrophe since 1992. The nation has been working to beat its challenges in aviation.
A difficult panorama
Topography has gifted Nepal with picturesque landscapes, however posits unrivalled challenges to flight operations.
Nepal, located between India and China, is residence to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, together with Mount Everest or Sagarmāthā. For flight operations, it’s an virtually unrivalled, harsh setting with sudden climate adjustments that may make for hazardous situations.
Airports inbuilt mountainous areas typically must have shorter runways that may solely accommodate turboprop-powered regional plane, moderately than giant jet airliners that may entry bigger cities in Nepal.
Consequently, aviation carriers in Nepal have quite a lot of plane on their fleets. These craft fluctuate in situation, presenting potential security hazards.
The ATR 72 plane is one typical plane utilized by Nepali carriers. It’s a turboprop-powered regional plane with a capability between 44 and 78 passengers. These plane are manufactured by a three way partnership of Airbus in France and Leonardo in Italy.
The plane concerned on this crash had been in service for 15 years, a reasonably typical age for an plane. The ultimate report on what occurred to the tragic Yeti Airways flight will take over a month to finish.
A rising and fast-changing trade
Nepal has welcomed personal funding into its aviation sector since 1992. Yeti Airways is one in every of 20 home carriers. The airline, headquartered in Kathmandu, flies to 10 home locations utilizing ATR 72-500 plane. As well as, 29 worldwide airways function into Nepal’s capital too.
With air journey in Nepal changing into extra accessible and inexpensive, airport infrastructure growth has remained far behind in comparison with the expansion of air visitors. This has resulted in rising congestion at airports, fare competitors between airways, and decreased security data.
In reality, the nation has recorded not less than 350 casualties related to aeroplanes or helicopters since 2000, which has raised questions concerning the effectiveness of its aviation security laws.
The aviation regulator in cost is the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, a authorities company established in 1998.
Working exhausting to enhance
Nepal grew to become a member of the UN’s Worldwide Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 1960. This membership obliges the nation to abide by worldwide conventions, ICAO’s laws, requirements, and advisable practices in aviation security.
Whereas Nepal’s aviation trade has made vital efforts to enhance security, sadly the protection document nonetheless doesn’t match up with the necessities of different civil aviation authorities.
Particularly, the European Union banned all Nepali airways from working within the bloc’s airspace in 2013 after ICAO raised a crimson flag. That ban nonetheless hasn’t been lifted, and Nepal stays on the EU Air Security Listing.
Regardless of the tragic casualty document, Nepal has stepped up its efforts to enhance aviation security. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has been specializing in bettering security in Nepali aviation – equivalent to constructing enhancements at airports, upgrading security tools, and fostering a optimistic security tradition by encouraging hazard reporting.
Nepal’s appreciable enchancment in security measures and compliance with worldwide requirements was recognised by ICAO in 2018. Nonetheless, the nation should proceed work on its aviation reform to make its skies secure for everybody.