ATC, NAC faulty behind plane holding, says report

Kathmandu-Holding NAC airplane ready to fly to UAE at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on April 19 was mistake of both Air Traffic Controller (ATC) and Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), said a probe report.

A committee formed to probe into the incident submitted its report on Friday to Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mohan Krishna Sapkota.The report stated that 271 passengers faced problems due to mere four minute delayed of the airplane following immaturity of ATC and weak communication of NAC staffs. The committee was formed under the coordination of Joint-Secretary at the Ministry, Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, to carry out investigation into the incident and the committee was asked to submit its report within a week.

Dragon Air aircraft and two wide-body aircrafts of NAC were ready to fly. The aircraft of Dragon Air had already reached the runway while NAC’s aircrafts were at taxiway. Two wide-body aircrafts can not be taken to runway at the same time.Because of the Dragon Air’s plane, NAC’s boarded plane was delayed by some minutes to reach the runway. At this moment, the employees at ATC failed to take perfect decision.

The probe committee determined that although ATC said that it was not allowed to give permission to fly after 10:00 pm since the runway upgrading was underway, the NAC staffs did mistake by cancelling the flight without informing the higher body about the incident.The flight (NA-213) bound to Dubai was ready to take off at 9:47 PM. However it was cancelled in lack of coordination among the concerned authorities.

The Committee has also recommended departmental action against six staffs from various departments in connection to the flight mismanagement. Similarly, it recommended action against two staffs at the CAAN who failed to effectively coordinate among the concerned authorities resulting in the flight cancelation. Furthermore, action has been sought against two NAC officials deployed at the airport who did not take appropriate action for management of passengers following the cancellation of the flight.

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