The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation today sought a detailed report from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) about the helicopter flights made in the Everest region in the aftermath of the April 18 avalanche.
The CAAN has been given three days to furnish a detailed report on the flights conducted by different chopper companies in the Khumbu area from April 18 to till date, said Suresh Acharya, head of the Aviation Industry Management Division at MoTCA.
“The letter issued to CAAN has asked for all details regarding number of flights, chopper companies, status of permission, flights hours, destinations, purposes and other documents related to flights to the Everest region,” he said.
As per the law, except for emergency rescue, helicopters can be used above the Base Camp only after taking permission from CAAN.
Today’s move came after Wang Jing, 40, from China, who is attempting to scale Mt Everest, and American climber Cleonice Weidlich, 51 of Mt Lhotse Expedition flew to Camp 2 from Base Camp and Gorak Shep.
International operators, including International Mountain Guides, Himex, Alpine Ascents International, Adventure Consultants, Jagged Globe and Peak Freaks among others, chartered helicopters to bring their climbing equipment and logistics from Camps I, II and Western Cwm to base camp after most of their clients abandoned the climbing activities.
Joint Secretary Madhu Sudan Burlakoti, who heads the Tourism Industry Division, had written to the Aviation Industry Management Division suggesting the latter to study the uses of chopper after the tragedy that buried 16 mountaineering staff and guides.
“After receiving a letter from the tourism division, a written directive has been issued to CAAN,” Acharya informed.
Source: The Himalayan Times
Date: 12 May, 2014