Baglung municipality in trouble after contributing budget for operating Balewa airport

Baglung Municipality may have to return amount of around 2 million rupees that it used to pay for the fare of airlines to operate flights to the airport.

Office of Auditor general has stated that primary report has shown that Baglung Municipality used budget of around 2 million separated for the capital expenditure in illegal manner for bringing airport into operation and has stated to return the budget.

Airlines and Municipality had agreed to pay equal amount of air ticket in the absence of passengers to the airline in hope of providing effective flights services to tourist and local. However, the office of auditor general stated that the municipality made decision without consultation and against the law and has requested to inspect on the topic.

Municipality had agreed to reimburse airlines if the airline couldn’t fill around 12 seats and couldn’t get passenger in Kathmandu-Balewa sector.

Yet, Municipality bared loss after there was continuous decrease in passenger in the sector. The fare for the route was also minimized after complaints from locals about expensive fare price.

Balewa airport came into operation March last year after 26 years with help of special initiative from the municipality however it was closed soon due to lack of flight and again came into operation after around 3 months in last October.

The airport has yet again been closed after the municipality faced losses as passengers flow was less than minimum and the airlines stopped operating as the money provided by municipality finished.

Baglung (Balewa) Airport is situated at Narayanthan Municipality of Baglung District, Province No. 4. At an elevation of 990 m /3248 ft. above mean sea level. The airport provides the flight service under the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and has Clay/Grass Surface runway with its dimension of 608 m x 30 meter aligned to 010 degrees and 190 degrees.

The airport future is still unclear as new road network that connects Baglung with Pokhara in just around 90 minutes is being constructed and the number of passengers are less.

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