Gautam Buddha airport preparing to conduct test flight for large aircraft

Bhairahawa, December 26

If every thing goes as planned, Gautam Buddha International Airport, which is one of the national pride projects of the country, will conduct test flight for large aircraft in the next eight months.

Keeping this in mind, the Chinese contractor has expedited construction work, which is in the final phase now. The workers are engaged in day and night shifts to meet the deadline.

The under-construction airport will have take-off or landing facilities for large aircraft such as Airbus A340 and Boeing 777 from both directions and this is expected to reduce air traffic congestion at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu.

The airport is expected to serve up to six million passengers by 2020.

“While we’ve finished the first phase of blacktopping of the runway, work related to the runway and taxi parking will be completed in the next two months,” said Gautam Buddha International Airport Construction Project Chief Engineer Prabesh Adhikari, adding that the airport was expected to be ready by May-June next year.

Similarly, construction of control tower is also in the final phase.

According to Adhikari, construction work is under way without hampering regular domestic flights at the airport.

For the construction of the airport, Asian Development Bank provided 40.5 per cent of the fund needed as loan and another 18 per cent as grant. Similarly, while OPEC Fund for International Development will bear 30.5 per cent of the construction cost, the government of Nepal will bear 11 per cent of the cost and the VAT.

Construction of the airport had started from January, 2016.