Nepal continues to be on the EU safety list. It has harmed Nepalese tourism and aviation. The ultimate losses are economic and social caused by the constraining of direct traffic flow between the EU and Nepal.

The EU has continued netting Nepal into its safety list despite the country being flagged off such a list by ICAO for quite some time now. ICAO is the global body under the United Nations aimed at unifying global regulations related to international civil aviation and enhancing safety and security related to civil aviation. CAAN had climbed above the global average operational safety standards before the ICAO safety delisting. The discontinuation of the ICAO safety listing and the retention of the EU safety listing of Nepal have been a paradoxical issue for the civil aviation sector.

A key concern shown by the EU for maintaining the safety list against Nepal is CAAN functioning as the regulator as well as the airport operator. A conflict of interest issue. In order to remedy this EU concern, Government of Nepal has now resolved to forward two bills related to civil aviation and air service in the forthcoming session of the parliament. These two bills are separately formulated for the creation and operation of a civil aviation authority (regulator) and an airport authority (airport service provider).

Whether the creation of the two independent organizations will enable Nepal achieve EU safety approval and whether it will enhance Nepalese air safety will be curiously watched by the stakeholders in the days to come.