Nepalgunj Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) office has estimated budget for design and cost of new international terminal building to be constructed at Nepalgunj Airport. CAA Nepalgunj has allocated cost of around 350 million to construct the new terminal building and has sent it to Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN) head office.
The budget has been allocated as per estimation made by officials of CAA Nepalgunj and sent to head office and Nepalgunj Airport head Prem Nath Thakur has stated to go in tender process as soon as CAAN approves for budget.
The project would have advanced if the estimated cost fell under 100 million as Nepalgunj CAA has authority to initiate project under 100 million rupees. However, as the project estimation turned out to be 350 million, CAAN permission has been requested.
The project was initiated after local representatives of Nepalgunj asked to upgrade the infrastructure of the airport to make it regional international airport and commence flight to New-Delhi, Lakhnau and Banaras in India via Nepalgunj.
The international terminal will hold immigration, custom, quarantine, security and other related posts and the work of other infrastructure will be performed simultaneously.
The terminal building is set to cover 3175 square meter area of airport and the construction project is expected to take around 1.5-2 years for completion after providing tender.
Besides other enhancement project, the runway of the airport which is 1500 meters long will be extended to 300m in the West and 200m towards the East and along with it other parking bays are set to be upgraded.
The under construction parking bay will be able to park around 8 ATR 72 series aircraft and the airport will be operating international flights from ATR aircraft only.
Nepalgunj Airport is the busiest airport of Nepal in the west which operates 9 flights to Kathmandu. Flights to hilly and mountainous regions are also frequent from this airport.
At present, flights to western and far-western region of the country are being carried out from the airport. And it is one of the busiest domestic airports in Nepal acting as a hub of western Nepal.
Nepal Airlines, Buddha Air, Shree Airlines, and Yeti Airlines are performing flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport) and Tara Air, Sita Air and Summit Air are conducting flight to rural areas from Nepalgunj airport. Around 90 flights during peak seasons are being carried out at the airport.
Private carrier, Buddha Air has already acquired permission to operate flights to New-Delhi from the airport however problems like slot management from Indian side and inadequate infrastructure for international flights from the airport has hold the flights of the carrier. Indian authority has still not shown positive response toward opening new air routes from Nepalgunj which is set to create problem for flight operation.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has approved the flight schedule of Nepalgunj-Delhi route for Buddha Air.