KATHMANDU: The government has been mulling to allow any Nepali citizen to apply for the post of director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.

Previously, potential candidates had to be a deputy director general of the aviation authority or joint-secretary in the Aviation Department of the Tourism Ministry.

A draft Civil Aviation Bill that is expected to be sent to the Cabinet this week says that any Nepali with the right qualification can aspire to the top spot at the aviation authority, according to two Tourism Ministry sources who wished to remain anonymous. The main idea of the proposed legislation is splitting the aviation authority into regulator and service provider.

Applicants for the post of director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal should have 15 years of experience in the aviation sector.

“There are many deserving Nepalis who have work experience in reputed firms like Airbus, Boeing and other global aviation businesses. The new law will allow them to compete for the post too,” one high-level source at the Civil Aviation Authority said.

Last July, the Cabinet gave the go-ahead to the Tourism Ministry to draft two separate aviation bills to break up the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.

The ministry had proposed creating three pieces of legislation to run the country’s aviation body—Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Act, Nepal Aviation Service Act and Civil Aviation Act.

The Nepal Aviation Service Act will govern the service provider that will oversee air services and the country’s airports, and a chief executive officer or general manager will be its head. The Civil Aviation Act will govern aviation security.

The legislation envisages integrating previous acts to eliminate conflicts and contradictions at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, which is currently functioning as both regulator and service provider from the same office, and there is no clear demarcation between its duties and organizational structure.

The government has been working on the proposed legislation for the last nine years.

In 2014, Spanish consultancy Ineco prepared the first draft with a $4.2 million funding from the Asian Development Bank following approval from the board of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal in 2010.

The proposed law is expected to replace two existing acts, the Civil Aviation Act 1959 and the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority Act 1996.