The country's aviation sector has seen a tremendous progress after Nepal adopted liberal sky policy but more has to be done to serve common people, according to Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai.
Inaugurating the 51st International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (IFATCA) conference here in the Valley today, he said the government is ready to partner with private sector for the development of the aviation sector.
"The air traffic growth during 1990s versus 2010s has been noticeable," he said, adding that Nepal supports the policy of progressive liberalisation ensuring safety and security. "The main thrust of Nepal's international air transport policy is to increase global accessibility, optimise utilisation of Nepali air space and maximise economic benefits to the nation by promoting tourism and trade with safe and efficient air transportation."
"With phenomenal growth in air traffic, the role of civil aviation in the world economy and social affairs has increased considerably," he said, adding that international air transport service carries more people and time-sensitive cargo than any other mode of international transport.
The conference — with the slogan of One sky, One capacity and one Voice — would be successful in achieving its goals of promoting safety, efficiency, and regularity in international air navigation, sharing knowledge and professional efficiency among air traffic controllers, Bhattarai added.
Globalisation, liberalisation and solidarity are the drivers of modern aviation industries that should be encouraged without compromising safety standards, the premier said, adding that a great volume of the world trade in value terms now moves by air. "The global passenger traffic is also growing in a considerable percentage per annum not only in Asia/Pacific region but also across the globe."
President of the IFATCA Alexis Brathwaite, on the occasion, said that remarkable development was made in the international air transport and there was lot more to do for quality services.
Similarly, director general of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Triratna Manandhar emphasised on the use of modern technology, infrastructure development and effective use of security regulations.
The five-day conference held in Nepal after four years of efforts has some 500 air traffic controllers of 70 countries as participants.
Nepal has been one of the Contracting Member States of ICAO by ratifying the Convention on International Civil Aviation 1944 (Chicago Convention). It has ratified the Tokyo Convention 1963, The Hague Convention 1970 and The Monrreal Convention 1971 relating to aviation security and safety. In Air Carriers Liability, Nepal has ratified The Warsaw Convention 1929 and The Hague Protocol 1955 as well. Being a land-locked and mountainous country with unique topographical situation, the development of air transport is not a choice from the point of view of economic analysis but a social obligation.