Tribhuwan International Airport to get hi-tech radar soon

KATHMANDU: Work for installing a new radar at Tribhuvan International Airport will soon be initiated. Speaking during the ninth annual general meet of Nepal

Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA), Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Sharad Singh Bhandari said the new radar would soon be installed at TIA.

The new budget has also mentioned that the installation work of new radar in Tribhuvan International Airport will be initiated to make flights more reliable and systematic. It has also stated to expand the runway to minimise air traffic problems at TIA.

NATCA is affiliated to International Federation of Air Traffic Controller Association (IFATCA) since 1992.

According to NATCA

vice-president Umesh Kumar Panthi, air traffic contol

(ATC) service is in need of upgradation and technological tweaking.

“We are stuck with the old technology. Only when we get facilitated with the new technology can air routes get shorter, with minimised operating cost,” Panthi said.

Minister Bhandari said the total cost of installing a new radar would come to from around Rs 750 million to Rs 3 billion. He also focused on infrastructure development and effectiveness in the working environment.

Ramchandra Man Singh, secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MOTCA), said that there was a need to develop ATC as well as improve manpower and technology at par with the international level.

Director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Keshav Raj Khanal said upgrading the ATC service was quite challenging.

“We do not have enough parking space and the runway problem is also there. The government should work along with us,” he said.

Khanal, however,said that the TIA service budget for the new fiscal year seemed enough to carry on the maintenance work at TIA.

“We have terminal radar service which only can cover an 80-km radius and only of high altitude. Lower level coverage is also needed and we are hopeful the budget will be implemented soon,” Panthi said.

The budget has also addressed the construction of International Airport in Nijgadh of Bara and construction work initiation for regional airports at Pokhara and Lumbini.

Regional and other airports from located in hill and Himali area will be continued.

It has allocated Rs 250 million for upgrading airports at Rajbiraj, Janakpur and Humla, Mugu, Kalikot and Dolpa of Karnali zone and Rs 100 million for extension of Dhangadhi airport. Simra and Dhangadhi airports will be developed and equipped for landing and take-off at night.