Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) a National Pride Project has now completed around 70% of its physical work.
The airport is being constructed with an aim of completing soon and to bring into operation from August/September of 2019.
The airport which had only completed around 25% of work around a year ago has now completed around 70% work and other work are being carried out simultaneously.
3rd phase blacktopping of the airport has completed and the 4th phase work is expected to be carried out in couple of days. The blacktopping work is expected to be completed within 20 days to a month and afterwards the work of installing lights and other work will be carried out.
Construction of the terminal building is also in final phase and the taxiway and parking bay are also ready to be blacktopped. Construction of control tower is also in final phase states project officials.
Similarly, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has also started work of constructing 10 thousand kiloliter aviation fuel storage plant at the airport. Currently, the airport only has capacity to hold 55 kiloliter aviation fuel which will only hold enough fuel for a day if international flights are conducted.
Official of the corporation stated that the demand of the fuel will increase as soon as the airport comes in operation thus the corporation will be setting up temporary depot which can hold up to 2000 kiloliter of fuel or store fuels in fleet of tankers until the facility construction is completed.
The corporation has started to construct storage tanks at the site after regulatory body Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) managed to provide around 7.5 bigha land. NOC is expected to invite tenders for construction of the storage tanks which is expected to take around 1 year to complete from the date of contract.
Recently, budget of around NRs. 4 billion has been reallocated for the construction of the airport for the land compensation process. CAAN has elected Thai firm ‘Aeronautical Radio of Thailand’ for second phase project of GBIA which comprises of installation of various equipment.
The project was awarded to China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group in November 2013 for NRs. 6.22 Billion and was expected to be completed by end of 2017. However, it couldn’t complete due to dispute over payment between Chinese contractor and Nepali sub-contractor, Madhes movement, blockade, earthquake etc. and the construction company had requested to extend the deadline till 2019.
The airport will be the country’s second international airport and is expected to minimize the traffic congestion of Tribhuvan international Airport (TIA). The runway of the airport will be 3,000 meters long and 45 meter wide and is set to have CAT I standard Instrument Landing System (ILS).
According to the study conducted by Asian Development Bank, 50 Million passengers will use this airport at first year and 20 lakhs passengers by 2020, 250 million by 2025 and 600 million passengers annually by 2027.