From 2021 onwards, two international airports under development in Bhairahawa and Pokhara will become operational. In April, the government intended to inaugurate the Gautam Buddha International Airport under construction in Bhairahawa. However, owing to the inability to carry staff from China due to Covid-19, technical work has been postponed. The visa procedure for taking in staff is now in the final stage.
The technical work has also begun with the completion of the bulk of the Pokhara regional international airport’s physical building. For the corona vaccine, technicians at both airports are waiting to arrive in China. The visa procedure is in its final stages for over 33 employees.
Pradip Adhikari, Director of the National Pride Project Directorate of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, said that both national pride projects would come into service concurrently. The aim was to conclude the development of Bhairahawa Airport in 2018. Pokhara Airport, meanwhile, was only opened in 2018. Both airports, though, are currently in the process of being built at the same moment. Director Pradip Adhikari said The project, which was initiated four years ago due to specific difficulties in Bhairahawa, has got to the stage of completion,”
Bhairahawa is in the preliminary stages of construction seven years since its inception.
After seven years, the Gautam Buddha International Airport, laid down on January 20, 2018, by then Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, has entered the final stage of building. While the date of service has not yet been determined, plans for the inauguration on April 14, 2021, have been initiated by government entities.
Ninety-three percent of the job at the airport is completed. The government prolonged the building industry deadline for the fifth time until December 2020. According to the scheme, the timeline was expanded five times, based on working circumstances, from three months to six months, but the introduction of qualified staff from abroad was postponed due to Corona. The completion of the airport, which is intended to open the door to the growth of Lumbini’s province, has not yet been finalized, however. If the construction had been performed on time, the airport installed in January 2015 could have been finished by mid-January 2018.
Owing to a nearby firm’s disagreement, the airport’s building work was delayed for a long time. The deadline was postponed to June 2018 owing to the earthquake and the obstruction of the Madhes wave. After that, on June 28, 2019, the deadline was expanded for the third time, but there was already some job to do. The third extension added that it would be finished by December 2019 for the development duration. The proposal was renewed for the fourth time in December 2019, although it was not finished. While the study is going on for the fourth extension, Corona is now more impacted, the director states.
Airport construction work is in progress, namely ICP-1 and ICP-2. Much of the study has been done under ICP-1, though some work persists under ICP-2. ICP-1 finished the design of runways, taxiways, terminal buildings, and other facilities. Technology for collaboration between aircraft, pilots, and airports is being established under ICP-2. Because of the Corona influencing, the relation of the machinery needed for this function, the airport’s building was postponed. The design of the international terminal building has now been finished, and the painting process is being carried out, while the construction of the departure room has been completed, and the AC link work is being undertaken. The completion phase includes the requisite airline counters, the construction of false ceilings, AC links, wiring, tiling, etc. Runway, taxiway, completion of apron work.
The airport’s design, which began with a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), was contracted for Rs 6.22 billion by the Chinese corporation North West Civil Aviation Airport Construction.
Completion of the Pokhara Regional International Airport, which began four years after Bhairahawa
Pokhara Regional International Airport’s development work is 65 percent complete. The airport development works, laid down by then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in 1974 BS, have entered the final level. Work to be finished on time between Covid-19 was also expedited. While due to Corona, the Pokhara airport has been delayed, it will be completed on time and will be operational, the director said.
“Even though the project was started after four years, the work is being completed on time as it is being constructed in the EPC model, “Although the project began after four years, the work is being completed on time as it is being developed in the EPC model. For the remaining 35 percent of the project’s job, 20 percent is also scientific. The airport’s development goal was to be finished and handed over six months ahead of time. The study was completed accordingly. However, he said that due to some building obstacles due to coronavirus, it could not be finished for six months.
By July 10, 2021, the Chinese firm CAMC Engineering had begun constructing the airport at about Rs 22 billion. Most of the construction has been done so far for 14 separate structures, including runway, internal and external terminal buildings, air traffic control (ATC) buildings. Similarly, design work has been completed on the hotel, hangar, parking, lane, drain, terminal building, building ending, main entrance road slope.