The 26th Steering Committee Meeting of the Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Program (COSCAP-South Asia) began with the goal of achieving the shared safety goal of the region.
The aviation safety regulators of Nepal along with other South Asian nations are trying to resolve issues such as congested passenger traffic, and quality manpower and technology, which are making hard to deal with safety problems.
In a bid to make the skies safer, Nepal’s Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister, Jitendra Narayan Dev, asked for a review of the current organizational and functional mechanics of COSCAP-South Asia to tackle the challenges in aviation safety, which stem from the rising number of air transport activities in the region.
“We also think that the scope of regional cooperation needs 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,” Dev 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,” added the minister.
COSCAP-South Asia, which is backed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is a joint venture of SAARC members, namely India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan.
The program is designed to assist the member countries to develop regulations and standards and better their independent oversight capabilities.
It’s an avenue where aviation issues of common interest are talked about, and a future course of action to resolve such issues is adopted.
The program is overseen by a steering committee made up 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, the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
Arun Mishra, Regional Director of the ICAO Asia Pacific Office in Bangkok, described the previous year as a fruitful one for the region as it became a significant safety concern (SSC) free area.
“Two SSC States—Nepal and Thailand—resolved their SSC working closely with ICAO and other partners,” the ICAO official reported.
Nepal has attained a significant milestone in its endeavor to guarantee the safety of aviation systems, he said.
Mishra added that 2017 as a remarkable year for the safety of global air transportation in that there were no accident fatalities that involved commercial passenger jets.