Nepal | July 03, 2020

Nepalgunj CAO seeks Rs 350m for upgradation

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, April 16

Nepalgunj Civil Aviation Office (CAO) has sought Rs 350 million from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) for upgradation of Nepalgunj airport.

Under the upgradation project of the airport, construction of international terminal building and establishment of immigration office, customs office and quarantine counter are yet to begin. “We sent the breakdown of the budget estimation to CAAN last Friday. After the authority approves the budget, we will call a tender for the remaining works,” said Premnath Thakur, chief of Nepalgunj CAO.

As per Thakur, the international terminal building of the airport will be spread over 3,175 square metres.

Similarly, the 1,500-metre-long runway will be extended by 300 metres towards the west and 200 metres towards east of the airport.

As stated by Thakur, construction of six parking bays is ongoing at the moment and is likely to be completed by next year. The parking bays will have the capacity to accommodate eight ATR 72 series aircraft. Besides, waiting rooms, canteen and commercial shutters are being built at the moment.

“Other works are running smoothly and if CAAN promptly approves the budget for the international terminal building, it will take approximately one-and-a-half years to complete the upgradation of the airport,” Thakur said, adding, the airport will begin international flights thereafter.

Nepalgunj airport is one of the busiest domestic airports of the country. It currently serves as a main air gate for Indian pilgrims travelling to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet.

After the local people demanded flight operation from Nepalgunj to India, CAAN started works to upgrade airport as international airport from last year, as per Thakur.

In the meantime, Buddha Air has already received permission from CAAN to operate Nepalgunj-Delhi flight. However, it has been unable to launch the service as the necessary infrastructure is yet to be built and the Indian authority for civil aviation is yet to provide air route to Nepal from Nepalgunj.

Currently, Nepal Airlines, Buddha Air, Shree Airlines and Yeti Airlines are operating regular flights to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. Likewise, Tara Air, Sita Air and Summit Air are operating flights to remote areas from the Nepalgunj airport.

A version of this article appears in print on April 17, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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