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Nepal warns using choppers above mountains

IANS | Last Updated: Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 15:52

Kathmandu: Nepal`s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has restricted the flying and takeoff of choppers above the base camp areas of all mountains in the Himalayan country, officials said on Sunday.

"Due to security risks and growing misuse of choppers above the base camp area, the ministry is forced to come up with this stern restriction," a ministry spokesperson told Xinhua.

Helicopters above the base camps can takeoff for rescue efforts only after approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the country`s aviation regulating body, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the ministry has given special instruction to the CAAN to look into the matter and penalise those who are found to be defying the rules.

Using a helicopter constitutes a serious moral and legal violation of tradition in mountaineering as well as aviation activities in Nepal.

Nepal normally allows helicopters above Mount Everest base camp located at about 17,716 feet to rescue climbers in distress or to drop climbing equipment and supplies.

According to the CAAN, it will closely watch the growing use of choppers in the mountainous region of Nepal where a number of well-off tourists have been suspected of flying choppers to grasp the aerial view of the mountains.

First Published: Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 15:52
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