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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

New aviation radars installed in Nepal with Japanese aid

  • January 24, 2018
  • , Kyodo News , 3:17 p.m.
  • English Press

KATHMANDU — New aviation radars have been installed in Nepal with Japanese aid, allowing the Himalayan nation to improve the management of air traffic at its main airport, Japanese and Nepali officials said late Tuesday.

 

The radars set up at Kathmandu’s Tribhhuvan International Airport and at Bhattedanda hill, about 40 kilometers south of the airport, are the first upgrades for the country since the existing radar system was installed in 1997, also with Japanese support.

 

The new air traffic radars, installed by an overseas assistance arm of the Japanese government with grants worth 989 million yen ($9 million), are “cutting-edge” and cover “almost 100 percent (of) Nepali airspace”, Japanese Ambassador to Nepal Masashi Ogawa said.

 

“I believe the air safety of this country will dramatically increase,” he said during a press briefing at his residence on Tuesday.

 

In 1994, Nepal made a request to the Japanese government for improved aviation radars after a Thai Airways plane and a Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed, both in 1992.

 

Japan installed radar in the country in 1997.

 

The newly installed radar at Tribhhuvan International Airport is located at an altitude of 1,400 meters, and the other at Bhattedanda hill is at an altitude of 2,340 meters.

 

Nepal is notorious for its poor airline safety record due partly to poor airspace monitoring equipment and to the tiny airstrips dotted through its mountainous terrain used by thousands of tourists every year accessing trekking and mountaineering areas.

 

Jun Sakuma, the chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Nepal, said the new radars are expected to increase Nepal’s capacity for flights and make available more economical routes for pilots.

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