Kathmandu, June 2
Construction of the country’s first remote parking bays was completed today. The two new parking bays at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) will come into operation from Wednesday, informed TIA General Manager Raj Kumar Chhetri. The two new parking bays have been constructed on the eastern side of TIA.
As per Chhetri, though the newly built remote parking bays will be used to accommodate normal flights, the major objective of constructing them was to provide a secure parking area for aircraft carrying explosive materials or for hijacked planes.
The parking bays were constructed at a total cost of Rs 470 million and can accommodate two wide-body aircraft and one ATR-72 plane.
With the construction of the two new parking bays, the country’s sole international airport will now have 11 parking bays. Previously, the nine parking bays at the TIA could accommodate three wide-body and six narrow-body aircraft.
TIA has been facing congestion problems since long due to the lack of sufficient number of parking bays. Moreover, since the airport has only one runway the congestion problem has compounded over the years. Due to the air congestion passengers have had to suffer from flight delays and being put on hold.
Around 400 flights including 100 international flights are being operated from TIA every day. With this upgradation, TIA management expects the air congestion problem to reduce and the airport to be a bit better managed.
“Once the new parking bays come into operation it will help minimise instances of flights being put on hold at TIA,”
Chhetri said, adding, “We will soon be completing the construction of two more parking bays that are being built on the southern side of the airport.”
These parking bays will have the capacity to accommodate two wide-body aircraft.
Aiming to reduce the air congestion problem, TIA had started construction of four parking bays two years back. The construction of new parking bays fall under the third package of TIA’s upgradation project.
The TIA is currently being upgraded in three packages.
The first package includes the runway rehabilitation work which is being carried out at the moment. TIA started the runway rehabilitation work on April 1, which is expected to be completed by June 30. Due to the runway upgradation work, TIA has closed operations from 10pm to 8am till that duration.
As per international practice, the runway of an international airport needs to be renovated every 10 years. However, TIA runway is getting renovated for the first time since its construction.
The second package included the utility work, which the TIA has already completed.
Meanwhile, the airport will soon add two new luggage conveyor belts at the international terminal.
A version of this article appears in print on June 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.