Rajbiraj airport gets rolling after successful test flight

RAJBIRAJ: Rajbiraj Airport, which has been remained close for 11-years due to poor condition of the runway, resumed its operation, from Wednesday. Shree Airlines' 50-seater CRJ-200 successfully touched down on the runway as part of the airport’s trial.

A successful test flight from Shree has now paved the way to operate the airport regularly, said Rajbiraj Airport Project Chief Ram Ekbal Yadav.

Captain DR Niroula of Shree's safety department along with other instructor pilots -- Captain Prajwol Adhikari, Rajesh Shrestha-- who flew the aircraft said there were no issues posing threats to daily commercial flights.

The airport will take at least four weeks to host regular commercial flights as there are unfinished works at ATC tower and terminal. However, the 1,500-metre-long and 30-metre-wide runway, 90-metre-long and 60-metre-wide apron and 110-metre-long and 20-metre-wide taxiway have been already blacktopped. A total of Rs303 million has been invested for upgrading the airport.

Likewise, Yadav also informed that the essential technical equipment to be installed at tower have already arrived and technical team is working to put it at place. There is an agreement between airport administration and Shree to operate the regular flights and other airline companies also have shown interest, said Yadav.

The airport was inaugurated by erstwhile transportation minister Ganesh Man Singh in 1959. Flights were disrupted several times due to lack of black topped runway and the airport halted all the flights from 2007.

After years in passing without an airport, the locals arrived in flocks to get a look at the plane that landed in the region after a decade.