Wednesday Oct 5, 2022
Wednesday Oct 5, 2022

Gautam Buddha International Airport in preparation for operation


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2022 Mar 12, 12:27, Bairahawa

Nepal's civil aviation sector, which has a history of more than seven decades of aviation, has made great strides. Much progress has been made, especially in aviation infrastructure. After 72 years of construction of the only Tribhuvan International Airport in the country, Gautam Buddha International Airport is now being prepared as the second international airport.

     With the preparation of commercial flight at Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa, Rupandehi, which is a project of national pride, two international airports will now be in operation in the country. A test flight is being conducted at the airport on 1 April 2079 with the completion of mechanical test flight 9 calibration flight with the preparation to bring it into commercial operation from 9th of Buddha Purnima. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has stated that commercial flights will be operated from May 20.

     NEA Director-General Engineer Pradip Adhikari said that preparations have been made to operate Gautam Buddha Airport as the second international airport after 72 years. According to the corporation, the wide-body A330 aircraft of Nepal Airlines, the national flag carrier, will make a test flight at Gautam Buddha Airport.

     Another international airport has been added in Nepal for the first time since the Tribhuvan Airport came into operation in 2006 BS. In 1948, H. Weidler, a British citizen, successfully landed the Beach Banaya aircraft at Gaucharan in Kathmandu, which is considered to be the beginning of air transport in Nepal. Then, in 1949, the first Dakota-3 aircraft landed at Kathmandu Gaucharan. In 2007, Indian National Airways made its first commercial flight from Patna, India.

A large state-of-the-art airport 

The Gautam Buddha International Airport will be operated at the capacity of Tribhuvan International Airport, said Director General Adhikari. He said the opening of a large state-of-the-art international airport in the country was another step towards aviation infrastructure and an important project for the economic development of the country. Gautam Buddha Airport is also seen as an alternative to the Tribhuvan International Airport with a total capacity of 9.2 million passengers. The airport is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Mechanical systems have been installed so that ships that could not land at Kathmandu Airport due to bad weather can easily land at Bhairahawa Airport.

Sample planning

 Gautam Buddha Airport is one of the projects of national pride which has achieved rapid progress due to its critical condition. The construction of the airport, which was started in early 2015 so that construction could be completed by December 2017, was hampered by the negligence of a construction company. Although last planned to be completed by March 2020, the airport is expected to be operational after five years due to the Kovid epidemic.

 The airport was built by Chinese construction company Northwest Civil Aviation Construction Group. The project, which is being constructed with a concessional loan from the Asian Development Bank, will cost around Rs 22 billion in both phases, according to NEA. About Rs. 11 billion has been spent in the first phase. The second phase of the terminal building will also be operational soon, said Director General Adhikari. It is believed that the pressure of the current Tribhuvan International Airport will be reduced when this airport with a total width of 45 meters and a runway of 3,000 meters comes into commercial operation.

 Entrepreneurs are of the view that the Gautam Buddha Airport, built-in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, will be of the greatest benefit to the tourists visiting Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. After the operation of the airport, Buddhists from many countries of the world will be able to come directly to Bhairahawa. The Lumbini area is only 22 kilometres away from the airport.

 The Lumbini Development Fund has projected that the number of foreign tourists visiting Lumbini will double with the number of international flights. The authority expects direct flights to Bhairahawa from Buddhist-majority countries including China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

 Chairman of the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) Achyut Guragai said that Gautam Buddha Airport would play an important role in attracting Buddhist tourists. He is confident that the opening of a new international airport for the tourism sector of the country, which is recovering from the epidemic, will increase the number of foreign tourists and make Nepal's economy run smoothly.

 NEA has published the information that Gautam Buddha International Airport is airworthy as the second international airport of Nepal. According to NEA, international flights will be operated at the airport in the next 41 days. NEA has also published a book containing all the details of the airport. The airport will be recognized as an international flight from April 21. The authority has issued a publication with all the details of the airport to 'approach' the airlines that want to fly to the airport saying that the airport is fit for flight.

Desire to fly three international airlines

 Airlines flying internationally have shown interest in flying to Gautam Buddha Airport. According to the authority's director-general, three airlines have now shown interest in flying. Nepal Airlines, Jazira Air and Thai Smile have indicated their intention to fly from Gautam Buddha for international flights.

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