Nepal airport closed after plane skids off runway

Above, an airplane takes off at the international airport in Kathmandu on March 17, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019

Nepal airport closed after plane skids off runway

  • The country has a poor flight safety record and its airports are notoriously difficult to land in

KATMANDU: Nepal’s only international airport was closed Friday after a plane skidded off the recently repaired runway, injuring two people, officials said.
The country has a poor flight safety record — Nepali airlines are banned from European Union airspace — and its airports are notoriously difficult to land in.
The Yeti Airlines ATR 72-500, arriving into Katmandu from southern Nepal with 66 passengers, skidded about 15 meters into the grass.
“Our teams are working to remove the plane and reopen the airport,” the airport’s general manager Raj Kumar Chettri said.
Chettri said that removing the Franco-Italian-made turboprop plane was taking a long time because heavy rain has made the area muddy.
Authorities took 11 hours to remove a domestic aircraft that suffered a similar runway excursion in September last year, months after a Malaysian jet with 139 people on board had aborted its takeoff and skidded off the runway.
In March 2018, a US-Bangla Airways plane crashed near the airport, killing 51 people.
The Himalayan nation has some of the world’s most remote and tricky runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with approaches that pose a challenge for even accomplished pilots.


Irish PM says outstanding Brexit issues, may need more time

Updated 26 min 58 sec ago

Irish PM says outstanding Brexit issues, may need more time

  • Britain’s Brexit minister Steve Barclay said he would not consider accepting a delay to Britain’s EU exit beyond Oct. 31
  • Reports that the last-ditch talks to seal a Brexit deal — to be approved by a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday

BRUSSELS/DUBLIN: There are still issues to be resolved in Brexit negotiations, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday, as European Union sources said the eleventh-hour talks with London were at a standstill.

“There is a pathway to a possible deal but there are many issues that still need to be fully resolved,” Varadkar said in a speech.
He said he had spoken to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the day.

“I do think we are making progress but there are issues yet to be resolved and hopefully that can be done today.”

“But if it’s not, there is still more time. October 31 is still a few weeks away and there is the possibility of an additional summit before that if we need one ... Although time is running short, I am confident that (Ireland’s) objectives can be met.”

Shortly before Varadkar spoke, EU sources said the talks had reached a “standstill” over a future trade deal between Britain and the bloc, as well as the rejection by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party of customs solutions tentatively agreed by negotiators.

Britain’s Brexit minister Steve Barclay said he would not consider accepting a delay to Britain’s EU exit beyond Oct. 31, even if it was only used to tie up the necessary legal requirements of an agreement.

“No, I think it is important that we leave on the 31st of October,” Barclay told a British parliamentary committee.

Reports that the last-ditch talks to seal a Brexit deal — to be approved by a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday before Britain is due out on Oct.31 — hit sterling and stocks in London.