Nepal Minute - out of the ordinary

Travel & Tourism

Prime MInister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda convened an emergency meeting of his Cabinet on Sunday, following the Yeti Airlines crash in Pokhara, to discuss ways to prevent such incidents in the future.  

The government has set up a five-member panel under former secretary Nagendra Ghimire. to investigate Sunday’s Yeti Airlines plane crash in Pokhara, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel said.

Aviation expert Nepali Army retired captain Deepak Prakash Bastola, retired captain Sunil Thapa, aircraft maintenance engineer Ekraj Jung Thapa are the members, while Buddhisagar Lamichhane, joint secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation is the member secretary on the commission. The panel is expected to submit its report in 45 days.

According to Aviation Safety Network, this is Nepal's deadliest incident since March 2018, when a US-Bangla Dash eight turboprop flight from Dhaka collapsed upon landing in Kathmandu, killing 51 of the 71 passengers on board.

At least 309 people have perished in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal since 2000. The European Union has imposed restrictions on Nepali planes from using its airspace due to safety concerns since 2013.

Bishnu Paudel1673778587.jpg
DPM Minister announces the government decisions after the cabinet meeting. Photo: RSS

The government has also instructed for a thorough technical check on all aircraft in domestic operations. The meeting has instructed all domestic carriers to conduct mandatory technical tests to prevent accidents in the coming days. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal will monitor such tests.

“We believe this system will play a role in preventing air accidents,” DPM Paudel said, after the meeting. 

Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 said on Twitter that the Yeti Airlines plane was 15 years old and had an antiquated transponder with unreliable data. "We are downloading high-resolution data and checking data quality," it read.

Similarly, the government has decided to establish a call centre at the Tribhuvan Airport to provide info to victims’ families and relatives.

DPM Paudel said that the government would help the families of the crash victims to retrieve the bodies and take them to their native places.

Meanwhile, the government has announced public holiday on Monday to mourn the people who died in the crash. 

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