By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Sept. 16: Construction of four capacity enhancing infrastructure has been completed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) during the time of lockdown enforced to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
During the time of the lockdown, extension of the 300m runway, construction of two parking bays, sterile hall gate lounge in international departure and international arrival covered walkway have been completed.
Of these four infrastructure, runway expansion, parking bays and gate lounge were constructed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) while the arrival covered walkway in the international arrival was developed by a private company under the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai inaugurated these infrastructures amidst a function organised at the TIA on Tuesday.
On the occasion, Minister Bhattarai said that the government was effortful for the optimum utilisation of the limited land space available in the TIA to reduce the air traffic congestion.
He said that new infrastructures, including parking bays and extension of runway would help reduce the congestion of air traffic in the sole international airport of the country and enhance its safety standard.
For the optimum utilisation of the available land at the TIA, preparation of optimum master plan of TIA has reached the final stage, he said.
He said that additional parking bays for 24 aircraft in the north and taxiways parallel to the runway were also in the process of construction.
Minister Bhattarai said that the TIA and other airports would return to normal operation gradually as the government had recently decided to increase international flights and open domestic flights from September 21.
Secretary at the Ministry Kedar Bahadur Adhikari said that the government had given importance to the construction of the airports.
Adhikari said that the government had welcomed the private investment in the airport sector for the first time to construct the arrival walkway and parking under the BOOT model. “This model will be replicated in other airports in future if it is found effective,” he added.
The arrival walkway and taxi parking were built by IMS Airport Service, a subsidiary of IMS Group, under the BOOT model.
The runway was extended as per the requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for air safety at the airport. The newly built departure gate lounge has the capacity of holding 1,200 passengers at a time.