Kathmandu, Jan 15 : Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari, has left here for India to participate in the two-day ‘Global Aviation Summit-2019’ beginning from today in Mumbai.

According to the minister’s private secretariat, he flew to the southern neighbour on Monday evening. He is accompanied by ministry’s joint-secretary Buddhisagar Lamichhane, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) director general Sanjiv Gautam and director Deepak Baral.

During his stay in India, the minister will hold talks on the issues of ‘air route’ that Nepal is seeking from India on the sidelines of the Summit.

Prior to this, the CAAN and Indian Aviation Authority signed an agreement on granting three additional air routes to Nepal by India. But, the Indian side has not yet shown its interest for the enforcement of the agreement reached on June 16, 2018.

Two-way route from existing Kathmandu-Mahendranagar-Delhi route and Kathmandu-Janakpur-Patna route are among those routes included in the agreement.

In 2018, according to the preliminary report of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), 4.3 billion people travelled via air routes and this figure is 6.1 percent more compared to the previous year. The number of air passengers this period in the Asia Pacific region increased by 7.3 per cent.

Nepal is a landlocked country and among the tourists arriving here from outside, over 80 percent come by flights. An airplane was landed in 1949 AD for the first time in Nepal and this is marked the beginning of the aviation history in the country, widening its ( Nepal’s) connectivity to the outer world.

The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation was formed in 1978 and the CAAN which remains as an independent aviation regulatory body in 1998. The establishment of the CAAN followed the formulation of the (first) Civil Aviation Policy-1993 and the Civil Aviation Act-1996.

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