Airports in Nepal that have not seen aircraft in decades

The development of roads and its infrastructures nationwide in the present days has led some of the airports in rural areas of Nepal to shut down. Because of the difficult terrain of the country, road facility has always been a challenge full task to extend all over the country. Still today, there are a lot of towns in Nepal where the access of road has not been made. Those towns have no any other option of transportation rather than air transportation. Besides some of these kinds of towns, nowadays major of other towns are getting connected with road networks despite the difficult terrain.

After the development of roads in the airports which had been conducted in the Panchayat Era before 2046 B.S. are getting closed. The government of Nepal that time had focused on the construction of new airports to aid the people of rural areas with air transportation where road transportation was very difficult. But these airports are getting shut presently with the increase in the road network. Manang Airport, Langtang Airport, Syanboche airport are some of the examples of airports that have never seen any flight movement for decades.

Sanfebagar Airport
Photo: Safebagar Airport

Among the 54 airports in the country only about a half i.e., 22 have already shut their operation now. The problem is that the government of Nepal had not any rigid plans in conservation and reoperation of those airports where once the maximum money of the country was spent in. The closed airports have not seen a single aircraft in decades. And with no human to operate the airports for years, those places have been turned into a mess. Even though the budget has been allocated to these airports for their preservation and studying the chances of re-operation, the airports have shown a zero sign of operation. The Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai has been telling to upgrade the old airports into newer ones and convert the airports that have no chances of operation into a gaming ground however, nothing like that has ever happened.

Most of Nepal ‘s remote airports abandoned throughout Maoist war are now completely functioning as a grazing ground for livestock. The abandoned airports also weren’t reopened by Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) attributable to villages are greatly influenced despite adequate roadway transport.

The airports in Nepal are turning into a grazing field for animals. On the adverse, the land of these airports is slowly being encroached. Locals and the land mafias are slowly taking over the marks of the land of the airport and changing its shape in maps already. The government of Nepal has never made any rigid plans to prevent this illegal activity in the encroached airports yet.

Dhorpata Airport of Baglung initiated in 1973 is totally closed now. Meghauli Airport constructed in 1961 during the arrival of Britain’s Queen in Nepal which is also closed now except for few army operations. Sanfebagar airport in Achchham is also shut for a long time. Manang Airport which initiated an operation in 1981 which had its runway retopped in 2015 has not seen aircraft since 2012. Jiri Airport in Dolakha constructed in 1976 has also not seen any aircraft for a long. Langtang airport in Langtang, Kangeldananda Airport in Solukhumu, Rolpa Airport are also not in operation since a long time ago.

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