Kathmandu, March 28 The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has said that the period from mid-April 2018 to mid-March, 2019, can be considered a phase that witnessed tangible improvements in the country’s aviation sector. From big projects to small projects, the aviation sector was able to see considerable progress, the ministry stated. As per details compiled by ministry, the upgradation project of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has achieved 40 per cent progress till date of which 30 per cent progress was achieved in the last 11 months. The TIA has also extended its operating hours to 22 hours to tackle the air congestion. Currently, the airport is being upgraded as a boutique airport. Similarly, Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) has achieved 67 per cent work progress. The ministry has set a target to bring GBIA into operation for Visit Nepal 2020 campaign. The Pokhara Regional International Airport has also achieved 27 per cent work progress. Meanwhile, there was good progress in works at the Nijgadh International Airport too during the review period. Within this period of time, the Environment Impact Assessment for airport construction was approved while the acquisition of 65 bighas of land of the total 110 bighas that is required for the airport has been completed till date. The ministry has also started working on the first phase of the master plan of the airport. Along with this, night flight service at Chandragadhi, Simara and Dhangadhi airports has been started while the work at Janakpur airport for night flight service is in the final phase. As per a report prepared by the ministry, regular flights from Rajbiraj and Sanfebagar airports have also resumed after maintenance on the runway and taxiway. At the same time, the Jufal airport of Dolpa and Thamkharka airport of Khotang district have also come into operation. Likewise, 13 other domestic airports, that were not in operation for many years have resumed flight services during these 11 months. Targeting the pilgrims visiting Mansarovar the capacity of Simikot airport has also been upgraded and it currently has a parking bay that can accommodate six aircraft and six helicopters. Likewise, the construction of a heliport at Lukla airport with parking space that can handle two big and four small helicopters has started. Two new domestic airports, Falgunanda airport of Ilam and Resunga airport of Gulmi, are ready to begin flight operations as successful test flights have already been conducted at both airports. The ministry also mentioned in the report that the Air Service Agreements (ASAs) that were signed with different countries was a big achievement. In these 11 months, Nepal signed ASAs with Japan, Thailand and Cambodia. With this the number of countries with which Nepal has signed an Air Service Agreement has reached 39.
Aviation sector sees considerable progress in last 11 months
Published: 10:45 am Mar 29, 2019