The Government of Bhutan requested capacity development technical assistance (TA) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to strengthen air transport regulatory and operational performance. ADB approved the TA concept paper on 15 November 2011. On 1 September 2011, an ADB fact-finding mission held discussions on preparations for the TA with the Ministry of Information and Communication (MOIC), the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), and the Department of Public Accounts of the Ministry of Finance. The mission reached an understanding with the government on the TA project's impact, outcome, outputs, implementation arrangements, cost, financing arrangement, and terms of reference. The design and monitoring framework is in Appendix 1.
|Project Name||Strengthening Air Transport Regulatory and Operational Performance|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Technical Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Transport - Air transport
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||No gender elements|
|Description||The Government of Bhutan requested capacity development technical assistance (TA) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to strengthen air transport regulatory and operational performance. ADB approved the TA concept paper on 15 November 2011. On 1 September 2011, an ADB fact-finding mission held discussions on preparations for the TA with the Ministry of Information and Communication (MOIC), the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), and the Department of Public Accounts of the Ministry of Finance. The mission reached an understanding with the government on the TA project's impact, outcome, outputs, implementation arrangements, cost, financing arrangement, and terms of reference. The design and monitoring framework is in Appendix 1.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
Air transport activity in Bhutan is expected to increase substantially as a result of (i) the government's continued effort to market tourist attractions in the country, and (ii) the introduction of domestic air travel to provide access to and promote tourism in the less-developed regions. In 2010, the air passenger volume at Paro International Airport, the country's only operational airport, reached about 127,000 passengers--more than triple the estimated 33,900 passengers in 2001. Based on the updated air traffic forecast, assuming physical capacity improvements keep pace with demand, air passenger traffic could grow to about 491,000 passengers per year by 2020, of which about 12% (60,000 passengers) would be carried on the new domestic services. This anticipated traffic growth emphasizes the need to ensure optimum sector performance and service delivery in terms of safety, security, and capacity.
The air transport sector assessment, carried out under an ongoing ADB project preparatory TA, has revealed inadequacies in several critical areas, particularly the institutional, legal, and regulatory frameworks, as well as the role and capacity of the DCA. Since being established in January 1986 under the MOIC, the DCA has been responsible for providing both the regulatory and operational functions for civil aviation. This dual role, where the DCA regulates its own operations, creates the potential for conflict of interest. The DCA has developed an organization plan to separate the two functions, although both functions would remain within the same organization and under the same overall leadership. In the interest of aviation safety and in keeping with best international practice, the regulatory and operational functions performed by the DCA need to be separated more clearly. Ideally, the DCA would evolve into a regulatory authority outside the government structure rather than functioning as a department of the government subject to the constraints of the civil service. The operational functions currently performed by the DCA could then be handed off to a commercial entity, incorporated as a government-owned company, free to function on a commercial basis. New legislation and amendments to existing laws would be required to facilitate this transformation.
|Impact||Improved air transport connectivity|
|Description of Outcome||Improved air transport regulatory and operational performance|
|Progress Toward Outcome||
The TA proposed a total separation of regulatory and operational functions throug the creation of a separate corporate organization to operate, maintain, and upgrade the national airports, and to operate the air traffic control services in Bhutan.
The TA has also developed a new Civil Aviation Law to replace an earlier, outdated, legal instrument.
|Description of Project Outputs||
1. Improved legal and regulatory provisions for civil aviation
2. Enhanced capabilities in technical oversight and airport operations
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
The new civil aviation law, titled Civil Aviation Act 2014, has been prepared as draft legislation to enable Bhutan to put in place a modern legal instrument that provides for all of the legal provisions that civil aviation regulation now requires.
DCA/DoAT staff have attended several trainings on airport operations.
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design|
|During Project Implementation|
|Procurement||Extensive consultation was undertaken with the MOIC and DCA, including a workshop to discuss and conceptualize the assistance.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Heriawan, Andri|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Transport and Communications Division, SARD|
Ministry of Information and Communications
Government of Bhutan,
|Concept Clearance||15 Nov 2011|
|Fact Finding||24 Aug 2011 to 02 Sep 2011|
|Approval||05 Dec 2011|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||24 Mar 2017|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|05 Dec 2011||27 Jan 2012||27 Jan 2012||31 Dec 2014||31 Dec 2017||-|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|300,000.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||300,000.00||05 Dec 2011||251,896.11|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Strengthening Air Transport Regulatory and Operational Performance||Technical Assistance Reports||Dec 2011|
Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
None currently available.
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
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