The Government of Nepal is preparing for flight resumption domestic and international flights from 17th August 2020 with strict safety precautions.
The Government imposed lockdown from 24 March 2020 till 17 August 2020 in order to contain and control the worldwide spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Within this period, the Government suspended all domestic and international flights except the rescue, repatriation, and charter flights related to medical and other essential supplies.
Social distancing requirement has also been imposed by the Government. Due to these reasons, flight movement of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) as well as other domestic airports subsequently dropped to around 5% or less. With this, Air Traffic Services (ATS) provided by TIA and other domestic airports are greatly influenced, and it is realized that the competencies of ATCOs might have been significantly dropped down due to prolonged lockdown and flight suspension that necessitated special precautionary as well as proactive measures to be adopted by ATS provider before resuming normal ATS operations.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has prepared some regulations, recommendations, and guidelines for airlines and airport authorities for safe air travel after the resumption.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FLIGHT RESUMPTION
On the above background, following recommendations are proposed for ATS provider:
a. Maintain proper coordination and cooperation with concerned stakeholders including the Aerodrome Operator for the restart of normal operations.
b. Monitor and analyze the growth pattern of air traffic. Arrange the manpower accordingly as per the approved procedure.
c. Monitor and analyze the status and functioning of CNS (Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance) facilities.
d. While managing ATS operations including training and simulation activities, give proper care for implementation of:
• Sanitization of the workplace environment, and
• Personnel hygiene and social distancing guidelines as provided by Government of Nepal.
e. Be prepared for the application of approved COVID-19 related ATM Contingency Procedure for any possible resurgence of COVID-19 in future.
f. Conduct ATC simulation training with sufficient emergency exercises before the restart of scheduled commercial domestic and international flight operations in a new normal situation.
g. Conduct Safety Risk Management (SRM) in the presence of concerned stakeholders before the restart of full-fledged ATS operations. Implement effectively the mitigation measures identified during the SRM for the safe transitioning to normal ATS operations.
h. Submit SRM report to Air Navigation Services Safety Standards Department (ANSSSD), CAAN for acceptance.
COMPLIANCE OF THE SAFETY CIRCULAR
The concerned department of CAAN will monitor and evaluate the implementation of circular during the scheduled audit and/or inspection as appropriate.
The FOD/Chief ATS should be responsible for the dissemination and briefing about the information contained in this Circular and send the documented evidence to ANSSSD, CAAN.
The implementation of recommendations contained in this Circular will be evaluated during the scheduled audit and/or inspection as appropriate.