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International airport to operate 24 hours


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2022 Apr 16, 12:18, Kathmandu
This image shows the building of Tribhuvan Interntional Airport in Kathmandu in September 2020. Photo courtesy: Novaturient

The International Airport will be operational 24 hours a day from May 30. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is preparing to operate the international airport 24 hours a day to manage the increasing air pressure.

According to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the Gautam Buddha International Airport and the Pokhara Regional International Airport under construction, including the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), will now operate 24 hours a day. NEA Director General Engineer Pradip Adhikari informed that the TIA has been operating 24 hours a day since the Republic Day on May 30. He said that it has been decided to operate the Kathmandu airport 24 hours a day to manage the increased air pressure after the Covid-19 epidemic.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale has shown special interest and activism in the country's aviation sector. As a result, NEA has stated that it is working for the infrastructure development and service strengthening of airports across the country, including three international airports.

Minister for Tourism Ale has facilitated for the modernization and commercialization of the airport. The TIA is about to come into operation 24 hours a day during the tenure of Minister Ale. "NEA has made the plan public by doing internal homework as per the instructions of Tourism Minister Ale in the board meetings," said Director General Adhikari while talking to media persons.

After Covid-19, flight pressure has increased at international airports and domestic airports. Increasing flight pressure is also a pleasant aspect. The NEA understands that the increase in air transport is also a great opportunity for the country's economy. At the same time, there are similar challenges in its management. Therefore, they are working together for the effective management of the airport, said the Director General.

He said, "There is a need for comprehensive infrastructure improvement and service standardization in all international and domestic airports. It also conveys the message that Nepal's skies are safe. If any international airline wants to fly at TIA today, it cannot provide slots."

Earlier, the then Minister for Tourism Rabindra Adhikari had brought TIA into operation for 21 hours in May 2018. The airport, which had been operating for 18 hours from 6 am to 12 noon, was brought into operation for 21 hours by adding three hours. However, the resumption of flight time was reduced after the renovation work of the TIA runway began. After that, the operation time of the airport was reduced as international and domestic flights were being cut due to the nationwide shutdown due to Covid-19.

With a total capacity of 9.2 million passengers, the TIA had carried 7.2 million passengers in 2018. Without the Covid epidemic, the airport's capacity would not have been able to accommodate passengers. Gautam Buddha Airport is also seen as an alternative to Kathmandu Airport. According to NEA, Tribhuvan International Airport, Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara Regional International Airport under construction will now operate 24 hours a day.

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Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal CAAN Gautam Buddha International Airport Tribhuvan International Airport Republic Day Prem Bahadur Ale International Airports covid-19
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