Kathmandu, January 22
The government has proposed two modalities for the construction of planned Nijgadh International Airport in Bara — the second international airport of the country.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has developed a proposal to develop the second international airport either under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model or Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Finance (EPCF) model.
MoCTCA Secretary Maheshwor Neupane said that the proposed construction modality of Nijgadh Airport has been sent to Ministry of Finance (MoF) and National Planning Commission (NPC) for approval.
“Both MoF and NPC seem to be positive on the proposed construction modalities of the Nijgadh Airport. As soon as MoF and NPC give nod to one of the modalities, the construction modality of the project will be endorsed by the Cabinet, which will pave the way for its construction,” said Neupane.
Earlier in May, the government had formed a study team led by Joint Secretary at MoCTCA Suresh Acharya to suggest the government the appropriate construction and operation modality of the Nijgadh Airport.
Submitting its report to the government recently, the team suggested PPP or EPCF modality for Nijgadh Airport.
“The report has suggested to construct and operate Nijgadh Airport in PPP model, or construct the project in EPCF model and operate in PPP model,” informed Neupane.
Currently, site clearance and infrastructure development works are under way at the planned international airport in Nijgadh, Bara.
In 2010, the government had awarded the detailed feasibility study (DFS) contract to Korean firm LandMark Worldwide Company (LMW). Back then, LMW had proposed to construct Nijgadh Airport under the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) modality. The company had estimated it would cost Rs 65 billion to complete first phase of construction.
Similarly, companies like WGP Global of London and other firms from Malaysia and India had expressed their interest to complete this project.
However, the government led by KP Sharma Oli in May 2016 had decided to mobilise country’s own resources for the construction of the Nijgadh Airport.
Consequently in September 2017, the government had assigned Nepali Army to build access and perimeter roads and clear trees on the way to the Nijgadh Airport.
As per the prepared DFS, Nijgadh Airport will be built over an area covering 3,000 hectares of land and will have the capacity to handle almost 15 million passengers annually.
A version of this article appears in print on January 23, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.