The blacktopping project of Deval airport, the only airport in Bajhang district has been started.
The blacktopping project of the runway of Deval airport which was closed in the year 2065 has been commenced.
After Deval airport which has been closed for 10 years, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has begun to blacktop the runway to resume the flight operation under the pressure of representatives and local people.
CAAN has awarded the contract of the blacktopping project of Deval airport to Amar Construction. The authority has signed a contract of the blacktopping project in NRs 5 crore 50 lakhs. According to the contract, the blacktopping project is expected to complete within 18 months.
Devi Neupane, chief of Amar Construction stated that the blacktopping project was delayed even after the contract was signed as there was no proper roadway to reach the airport and the project was initiated after the roadway was constructed.
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) had conducted scheduled flight at Deval Airport, Bajhang in the year 2035. The corporation conducted two flights in a week from Nepalgunj to Bajhang and Bajhang to Nepalgunj. Later, private airlines Tara Airlines, Makalu Air started conducting two to three flights a week. But later on, private airlines stopped flights saying that it is not safe due to the negligence from government. Since then, the airport has not been able to continue its operation for ten years.
Airport officials are shifted to other place by CAAN after it couldn’t operate and now the airport has been transformed to grazing place and play ground while the glass panels of window and door of tower which was constructed some years back has been broken.
During monsoon, landslides block the highway and patient and passenger face difficulty and some patient even die due to delay.
The airline companies shared information that the flight services at Dhangadi-Bajhang air route could be operated through 2-3 Twin-otter aircraft daily.
Local people are pleased after the blacktopping work has started.
After the flight operation resume, it will make ease to tourists to travel Mansarobar of Tibet and Mountain Saipal. The roadway to Kailash Mansarovar (a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus) is comfortable from Bajhang and also covers short distance. So, the authorities from Bajhang quoted that the operation of airport is necessary. At present, Simikot Airport is handling all the flight pressures building up due to the increasing number of traveler for Kailash Mansarovar Trek.
Previously, Deval airport witnessed a test landing on October 10, 2018, of Nepal Airlines Chinese manufactured Harbin Y12e series aircraft.
Bajhang Airport is located in Far-western Nepal at an elevation of 1250m. /4101 ft. above mean sea level. The airport has Clay/Grass Surface runway with its dimension of 654 x 30 meters aligned to 070 degrees and 250 degrees. The airport can accommodate two STOL small aircraft like DHC6 Twin Otter, Harbin Y12e and Cessna Grand Caravan C208 at the time.