Jan 10, 2018-The 26th Steering Committee Meeting of the Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme (COSCAP-South Asia) opened Tuesday with the aim of taking policy decisions on practical measures to achieve the common safety goal of the region. The conference will continue for three days.
Aviation safety regulators of Nepal and other South Asian countries are facing formidable challenges like ballooning passenger traffic and quality manpower and technology, making it difficult to deal with emerging safety problems.
Underlining the need to make the skies safer, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Jitendra Narayan Dev called for a review of the existing organisational and functional mechanism of COSCAP-South Asia to address the emerging challenges in aviation safety as a result of growing air transport activities in the region.
“We also think that the scope of regional cooperation ne to be expanded to other domains of aviation activities. Nepal is firmly committed to supporting the enhancement of the capacity and capability of this regional forum,” he said.
“In a landlocked country like Nepal, air service is the key means of transport to connect with the outside world. Due to our difficult topography, it is also the most reliable means of transport for people living in remote places of the high mountainous region. Tourism in such a topographically challenging place can flourish only when aviation safety can be ensured.” COSCAP-South Asia, which is supported by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao), is a joint programme of Saarc members, namely India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan.
The programme is aimed at assisting the participant countries to develop regulations and standards and improve their independent oversight capabilities. It’s a forum where aviation issues of common interest are discussed, and a future course of action to address such issues is adopted. The programme is managed by a steering committee consisting of the directors general of the eight states. “This steering committee will steer the direction of COSCAP in the days to come with judicious judgment and review the activities undertaken in the past,” said Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan).
Arun Mishra, regional director, Icao Asia Pacific Office in Bangkok, to which 37 States of Asia and Pacific Region are accredited, said that 2017 had been a fruitful year for the Asia Pacific region as it became a significant safety concern (SSC) free region. “Two SSC States—Nepal and Thailand—resolved their SSC working closely with Icao and other partners.”
Nepal has achieved an important milestone in its journey to ensure the safety of aviation systems, he said. According to Mishra, 2017 marked a remarkable year for the safety of global air transportation in the sense that there were zero accident fatalities involving commercial passenger jets.
There were only 10 fatal accidents involving commercial flights resulting in 44 deaths in 2017. This is down from 16 fatal accidents and 302 deaths in 2016. Furthermore, none of 2017’s fatalities involved a passenger jet. The 10 fatal accidents in 2017 involved five cargo flights and five passenger flights using turboprop aircraft.
There were 36.8 million travellers going by air last year, which works out at just one fatal accident for every 7.36 million departures. With over 1,400 scheduled airlines, 26,000 aircraft in service, 3,900 airports and 173 air navigation services providers, aviation has established an unmatched global network in the service of travellers and businesses in every corner of the world, he said.
Published: 10-01-2018 08:36
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