AI pilots refuse flights to Kathmandu for safety reasons

New Delhi: After Goa and Kabul, a section of Air India pilots on Monday decided not to operate flights to Kathmandu "in the interest of flight safety" as the airline has not given them familiarisation training after revision of approach and go around procedures there.

Alleging that no familiarisation training for approach and go around procedures, which have been revised for Kathmandu airport, pilot`s union — Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has asked its members not undertake flights to Nepal`s capital.

From March 4, the approach and go around procedures for Runway 02 of Tribhuvan International Airport have been revised by the Nepal`s Civil Aviation regulator.

As per the company training manual, pilots have to undergo familiarisation training for Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR), Standard Instrument Departures (SIDS) and VORDME runway 02 approach including normal, abnormal and single engine procedures on Airbus-320 or Airbus-330 simulator.

"Since VORDME runway 02 approach and go around procedures for Kathmandu have been revised, a resolution has been passed by the Central Executive Committee of ICPA in the interest of flight safety that all members are directed not to undertake any flights to Kathmandu till such time the training for the same is provided by the company," the ICPA said in a letter.

"We would not take any flight, putting flight safety at stake. The management has been forcing us to fly to these places without proper training, against the flight safety norms," ICPA General Secretary Captain Rishabh Kapur said.