Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Tourism ministry seeks clarification from TIA

The government has asked clarification from general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Raj Kumar Chhetri for allowing FlyDubai to take-off after 10:00 pm, going against the notice for airmen (NOTAM).
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has sought clarification from the TIA for allowing FlyDubai to take-off after 10:00 pm, confirmed spokespersom of the ministry Ghanashyam Upadhyaya. "It is against the law to break NOTAM rule," he said, adding that the ministry has asked written clarification with TIA management on why it breached the NOTAM rule and allowed FlyDubai to take-off on Tuesday night. "The ministry will take strict action against TIA management, if the ministry does not receive a justifiable reason."
Though TIA has been closing all flight operations for 10 hours from 10:00 pm to 8:00 am since April 1 for the runway rehabilitation work, the TIA management had allowed FlyDubai to take-off after 10:00pm on Tuesday night.
The FlyDubai aircraft was scheduled to depart from TIA for Dubai at 8:40 pm but departed at 10:17 pm on Tuesday night, after getting green signal from the TIA top management. The Issuing the NOTAM a few months back, TIA has begun rehabilitation and extension of the runway. However, going against the rule, TIA permitted the aircraft to take-off after 10 pm on Tuesday night. But the TIA – on April 3 – had refused to allow a Dubai-bound Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) flight from taking off at 10.04 pm citing the same NOTAM.
The NAC aircraft was all set for take-off but the airport management stopped the aircraft. The incident raised several questions on why the national flag carrier has always been made victim and the international airliners are always given more than level playing field. According to NAC, the captain of the concerned flight had sought four extra minutes to take-off, however the airport refused to extend the departure time as it would be against the NOTAM. The delay cost the NAC not only money but also the credibility, though it has been trying to rebuild its lost glory. But on Tuesday night, the same TIA management allowed 17 extra minutes to FlyDubai to take-off. The incident has been seen as trying to push the national flag carrier to the red and tarnish its credibility.
Though, general manager of TIA Raj Kumar Chhetri said the airport had allowed the FlyDubai aircraft to take-off looking at the convenience of passengers onboard, he tried to skip the answer on why TIA stopped the NAC flight to take off on April 3 as the national flag carrier flight was only 4 minuted late.
"On April 3, I was in Hong Kong to attend the Asia-Pacific-World Annual General Assembly conference of the Airport Council International," he said, adding that no one was there to take a decision.
"The FlyDubai pilot had already completed the pushback of the aircraft and was all set to take-off,” he said, adding that all the passengers would have to suffer at the last moment. But he could not justify why the passengers of the NAC flight on April 3 were left to suffer and NAC was made to loose money and credibility.
The CAAN has, however, blamed the NAC’s management and the captain for the cancellation of the flight. According to CAAN, all decisions related to the operation of the airport are taken by the aerodrome duty officer, not the air traffic control (ATC). But officials of NAC based at TIA had not coordinated with the aerodrome duty officer before cancelling the flight.

No comments: