TRICKY TOPOGRAPHY, AIRPORT RUNWAYS

Those who do opt for domestic flights tend to be aware of the risks involved. 

“Even though Nepal has a history of air disasters, they don’t happen all the time,” said Mr Waldron.

“But, wherever you fly, especially in some of these more developing markets (like) Nepal and maybe Africa, you just have to be aware that there’s great beauty and adventure to be had. But this is also going to come with certain potential risks.”

He advised travellers to “look very carefully” at an airline’s records before booking a flight. 

Reports often state that the Himalayan nation’s treacherous terrain and capricious weather conditions, together with its tricky airport runways, can challenge even accomplished pilots. 

“You’re contending with extremely rough terrain. The weather can be extremely challenging up there as well with very difficult, strong wind conditions. You could take off from one airport and the weather is fine at your destination, but then when you arrive, the weather could have changed quite radically,” explained Mr Waldron.

At the moment, flying in Nepal also requires pilots to take “very tight approaches into small airports” and navigate “short runways”, added Mr Michael Boyd, president and CEO of Boyd Group International.

“If something goes wrong with an airplane (in Nepal), there are not a lot of places to go. You don’t have alternative airports. It’s a mountainside,” he noted. 

Mr Boyd, who also spoke on CNA’s Asia First programme on Monday, said that a great deal of concern “has to do with the topography of Nepal, not so much whether their air transportation system is less or more safe than anywhere else”. 

“I won’t call it dangerous but (it is) a lot more vulnerable to accidents than other places in the world.” 

Nonetheless, knowing these threats, “there

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