Kathmandu, May 17
The technical study group (TSG) formed to suggest the government on possible ways to address air traffic congestion at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has recommended the construction of a domestic airport in Nagidanda of Kavre as an alternative to the domestic section at TIA.
Submitting its study report to the government today, TSG suggested the construction of a domestic airport at Nagidanda or Chisapani Thulichaur of Kavre, but termed Nagidanda as ‘comparatively more feasible’.
“Nagidanda site is the best among different indicated sites for the construction of a domestic airport to manage congestion at TIA. However, issues like metrological condition (wind and visibility) at Nagidanda, instrument flight procedure, air traffic management (ATM) procedure and safety assessment with respect to TIA must be addressed at the very beginning of the project cycle,” the report reads.
Following severe congestion problem at TIA in recent years, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) is planning to construct a new airport close to Kathmandu Valley and shift domestic flights that are operated from TIA in the long run.
Almost a month ago, MoCTCA had formed the TSG that comprises aviation experts to study the prospects of constructing a domestic airport in Kavre.
The TSG report states that construction and operation of a domestic airport in Nagidanda will reduce almost 20 per cent traffic load at TIA. Similarly, 20 per cent communication load of air traffic control (ATC) at TIA will be reduced if helicopter operation from TIA is shifted to the yet-to-be-constructed domestic airport at Nagidanda.
Similarly, operation of airport in Nagidanda will reduce the frequency congestion on Kathmandu approach, TIA tower and TIA ground, states the report.
However, the TSG report has stated a few issues like the very short aerial distance between Kathmandu and Nagidanda (8.5 nautical miles), lack of wind and visibility data of Nagidanda and partial restriction due to terrain for approach, among others, should be addressed to construct the airport in Nagidanda.
Similarly, the report has also said that the connectivity infrastructure from Kathmandu to the proposed airport location needs to be addressed by the government.
A version of this article appears in print on May 18, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.