Aero Thai of Thailand has received permission to perform a calibration flight at Gautam Buddha International Airport. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has permitted Aero Thai to perform calibration flights as per the previous agreement.
The Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa, a national pride project, is being prepared for a calibration flight. Calibration flight is the process of checking whether the equipment connected to the runway, tower, etc., area has worked as per the operational needs.
CAAN Director General Raj Kumar Chhetri informed that all the preparations for the test flight had reached the final stage as soon as Aero Thai got permission to operate the calibration flight. According to him, the test flight will take place within a month. In the meantime, CAAN will make internal preparations.
Aero Thai is a prestigious airline in Thailand. It is said that Aero Thai provides technical human resources, including ATC for Thai Airways. According to CAAN, Aero Thai will bring an aircraft with technical manpower to Nepal on November 22 to complete the process and perform a calibration flight. This work will be for a period of one week.
The project, which was supposed to be inaugurated last year due to the COVID pandemic, was delayed. According to the directive of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation Minister Prem Bahadur Ale, the CAAN has finalized the calibration flight.
Director-General Chhetri said that the completion of the project was delayed due to the earthquake, blockade, and failure of the contractor to procure money and construction materials on time.
He said that after the test flight, the international airline would be called for regular flights. International flights will be operated at Gautam Buddha International Airport in the next five months. Director-General Chhetri said that international flights would be launched in the next five months as the technical status of the airport is almost completed.
The Gautam Buddha Airport will be operational from the beginning of the year 2021. Work on the airport, which began in early 2015 to be completed by December 2017, was hampered by negligence on the contractor’s part. Over the next two years, the project progressed significantly.
The construction period of the airport was last extended till March 2020. The project, which was delayed due to technical reasons, was further delayed by the Corona pandemic. The airport was built by Chinese construction company Northwest Civil Aviation Construction Group. The project, constructed with a concessional loan from the Asian Development Bank, will cost an average of Rs. 7.32 billion in both phases, according to CAAN.
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. According to CAAN, the Pokhara Regional International Airport, 80 percent complete, is being prepared for a test flight in the next six months.