Nepal | July 08, 2020

Development Committee directs govt to speed up TIA upgradation

Himalayan News Service
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International terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport. Photo: TIA

International terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport. Photo: TIA

Kathmandu, August 10

A parliamentary committee has instructed the government to speed up the works in upgrading and improving the services in the country’s only international airport — Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). Authorities concerned have been asked to give top priority to upgrading the airport.

The government for long has been working over a plan for TIA’s expansion to upgrade it to the level of International Civil Aviation Organisation criteria. However, work on this front has been moving at snail’s pace for multiple reasons like dispute regarding borrow pit since over one year, which in turn has delayed airport expansion work.

TIA has been facing heavy congestion as it has only one runway, which too is shared with the domestic terminal, and limited space for aircraft parking. As per the government’s plan, the runway, which is 3,000 metres long, will be extended to the south by 300 metres.

Amid delays in airport upgradation, the Development Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today discussed about the progress achieved and problems being faced.

After the meeting, the Committee also asked the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and TIA to submit a report on problems related to upgrading of the TIA and expectations from the Committee to help tackle such problems.

Similarly, it has instructed all concerned to complete the works of parallel taxi way and parking space on time and resolve the row regarding the borrow pit at the earliest.

A Spanish firm Sanjose is working on the project to upgrade the TIA. The project scopes include expanding the existing runway, construction of new taxiways, extension of the apron, installing new lighting in the airfield, reformation of the international terminal, and installation of a new system for baggage carriage, among others. A separate plan is also underway to construct three new parking bays.

Normally, one bay accommodates 12 flights per day. This means TIA’s congestion is expected to improve slightly after the construction of three new bays. The airport currently has only nine parking spaces for international commercial flights, cargo and chartered planes. This has been creating congestion from time to time and forcing aircraft to either remain on hold for hours at an end and even forced them to divert to nearby Indian airports.

As per other instructions of the Committee, government should complete works on improving structures like tall buildings that have been creating hurdles in improving the service and upgrading the airport within three months. To this effect, the Committee has directed MoCTCA, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Local Development and Federal Affairs, Kathmandu Valley Development Authority, Town Development Authority and Kathmandu Metropolitan City to coordinate with one another.

A version of this article appears in print on August 11, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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