Kathmandu, June 19
Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is preparing to resume operation for 21-hours-a-day from July.
As the runway rehabilitation work of TIA is all set to be completed before the earlier announced deadline of June 30, the airport is ready to resume its regular service. Currently, the airport is closed for 10 hours every day from 10:00 pm to 8:00am for runway rehabilitation work.
According to Raj Kumar Chhetri, general manager of TIA, the rehabilitation work will be finished within 10 days. “A final phase of rehabilitation work is going on at the moment. Considering the work pace, it is likely to be completed within 10 days,” he said.
At present, China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corporation is working on runway rehabilitation of TIA. After completing the runway rehabilitation, the notice to airmen (NOTAM) will be removed and TIA will begin the construction of taxiway and parking bays from September 1.
The two new parking bays constructed on eastern side of TIA have already been inaugurated on June 2. These parking bays have a capacity of two wide-body aircraft and one ATR-72 plane. Remaining two parking bays will be constructed on the southern side of the airport.
These parking bays will have the capacity to accommodate two wide-body aircraft.
“The remaining work of constructing taxiway and parking bays will begin from September 1, with the target to complete it by December 31,” Chhetri said, “During that time, the runway will be closed from 11:30pm to 6:30am for construction work.”
As per Chhetri, the flights will be less affected during September to December NOTAM period compared to now.
Around 400 flights, including 100 international flights, are being operated from TIA every day. With this upgradation, TIA management expects the air congestion problem to ease and the airport to be a bit better managed.
As per international practice, the runway of an international airport needs to be renovated every 10 years.
However, TIA runway is getting renovated for the first time since its construction.
A version of this article appears in print on June 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.