Aviation: As part of an effort to standardize airworthiness maintenance regulations in the region and improve aviation safety, member states of the South Asia Regional Initiative (SARI) met in Paro, last week.

SARI is the technical arm for the regional aviation safety body, the Co-operative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme, responsible for standardizing regulations in the region.

“In aviation, implementation of regulations is the most critical phase as any misinterpretation or error may lead to omissions which could be detrimental to safety or may lead to excessive burden to the industry,” the Bhutan Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) officiating director, Sangay Tenzin said.

The meeting was part of a series of workshops being carried out by SARI in collaboration with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Sangay Tenzin pointed out that the workshop was not an audit but a forum to provide recommendations and advice towards elimination of differences in regulations towards the development of harmonized regulations based on EASA standards.

“So far Bhutan could not maintain the continuity on attending all the SARI implementation workshops due to limited human resources both from the BCAA and airlines,” Sangay Tenzin said.

“It is recommended that for the size of the aviation industry in Bhutan, the regulatory authority must attend to every single SARI activity within South Asia in order to keep updated with the recent changes in aviation and therefore facilitating the development and implementation of the regulations,” he said.

Sangay Tenzin said that by having standardized rules throughout the region, there would be much less regulatory obstacles, when for instance, a Bhutanese aircraft has to be repaired or undergo maintenance in another South Asian country. This would also have an indirect bearing on the lack of qualified human resources plaguing the aviation industry in Bhutan.

The officiating director added that once maintenance regulations are standardized in the region, Bhutan’s score for complying with international requirements, which is the lowest in South Asia, will be further improved.

Gyalsten K Dorji, Paro