Nepal Air Disasters: Calls for Accountability Amidst Systemic Failures

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Kathmandu,Nepal: The recent tragic landing mishap at Tokyo's Narita airport, involving a JAL A350 and a Japanese Coast guard Dash-8 aircraft, resulting in the loss of five lives, has sparked two parallel investigations. One focuses on air safety per international aviation standards, while the other delves into possible criminal negligence. However, Nepal's track record in investigating air disasters and delivering justice has been dismal, raising concerns among experts.

Amrit Kharel, a seasoned aviation lawyer, emphasized the state's duty to ascertain responsibility and ensure justice when lives are lost under abnormal circumstances. Yet, recent investigations, like the Pokhara Yeti Air crash report, have been criticized for their lack of detail regarding the cause of deaths and culpability.

A review of past air crash reports, particularly those en-route to Jomsom, revealed disturbing patterns of negligence. Pilots entering clouds and colliding with mountains, resulting in fatalities, highlight systemic issues. Despite mandates for terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) installation, pilots' misuse and disregard for safety protocols persist, contributing to avoidable tragedies.

Nepal's aviation laws lack provisions for criminal punishment for safety violations, leading to a culture of impunity. The absence of deterrents not only emboldens reckless behavior among local pilots but also encourages rule violations by foreign pilots. Calls for stricter enforcement and prosecution powers delegation to regulatory bodies aim to improve Nepal's aviation safety standards and hold accountable those responsible for lapses.

In the wake of repeated air disasters, demands for accountability and systemic reforms grow louder, urging authorities to prioritize safety and justice to prevent future tragedies.

 

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