Nepal | January 16, 2021

Manthali airport being upgraded to accommodate more flights

Arpana Ale Magar
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Kathmandu, November 24

Renovation works of Manthali airport in Ramechhap district are underway for the next tourist season. As the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has decided to continue flight operations at Manthali the Lukla Civil Aviation Office of Manthali airport has started maintenance works of the airport.

As per Amit Chaurasiya, chief of Manthali airport, the work of runway extension, construction of parking bay and terminal building is going on.

“For runway extension and parking bay we have started the work of land acquisition,” Chaurasiya informed.

“We have already received permission from the District Administration Office Ramechhap and have also started talks with the land owners. We will soon hold the second meeting with the land owners regarding compensation and other needful initiatives we have to take for land acquisition,” he added.

As per him, the length of the runway will be extended by 200 metres each on either side. Currently, the runway is 530 metres long and after the renovation it will be 930 metres long, he added.

Chaurasiya further said that land has already been acquired for the parking bays. “Currently, we have four parking bays and after the renovation we will have eight parking bays that can accommodate eight small size aircraft,” he said. “However, due to lack of ample space we cannot operate flights via ATR aircraft even after the renovation.” Likewise, the capacity of the terminal building will also be expanded at the airport. At present, the airport can only accommodate 20 to 30 people at a time.

“Previously, only a couple of flights used to be operated per day at Manthali airport but now from this spring season aircraft movement has increased and consequently so has passenger movement,” he said, “So, for the convenience of passengers we recently installed 50 chairs in the waiting area.” Chaurasiya further informed that currently there are around 40 to 50 flights being operated in a single day.

He added CAAN is also having discussions with concerned authorities to construct a helipad at the airport.

Besides, the work of building fences, recruiting manpower and managing security systems along with installing x-ray machines is also underway.

Flights to Lukla were diverted from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to Manthali airport since April 1 due to the renovation works of TIA runway as an alternative route till June 30.

However, taking into consideration the convenience for passengers and public demand, CAAN had decided on June 16 to give continuity to regular flight operation in Ramechhap-Lukla route. Airline companies have also agreed to continue with their flights in this route.

At present, Summit Air and Tara Air are operating flights in this route.

A version of this article appears in print on November 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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