After Kabul and Goa, Kathmandu is new 'no-go' zone for AI pilots

New Delhi: A section of Air India pilots have decided not to operate flights to Kathmandu "in the interest of flight safety" as the airline has failed to provide them familiarisation training after revision of approach and go-around procedures at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International airport.

Kathmandu joins a growing list of no-go zones for AI pilots with Goa and Kabul already up on the list for various reasons.

The AI pilots union, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), alleges that the carrier has provided no familiarisation training for approach and go-around procedures at Runway 02 of Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, which have been revised from 4 March by Nepal's civil aviation regulator.

As per regulations, 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 an 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," said ICPA general secretary, Captain Rishabh Kapur.