Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has invited bid from the prequalified companies for the runway and taxiway rehabilitation project of the only international airport of the country, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
The pre-qualified bidders are China Railway No.5 Engineering Group Company Ltd. China and Swachchhanda Nirman Sewa (P) Limited Nepal JV, China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation, China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd., and Beijing Changdo Municipal Engineering Group Company Ltd. These companies are required to submit sealed bids to Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project (ATCEP), Project Directorate within October 05, 2018.
TIA is expected to be closed for 8 hours daily from Magh, 2075 (January 2019) for rehabilitation of the runway. Pratap Babu Tiwari, newly appointed spokesperson of TIA stated that the TIA authority is discussing in the subject of the rehabilitation of the runway which is expected to take a total of 18 months time period.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Mr. Rabindra Adhikari has informed about the initiation of necessary preparations for the runway rehab process to make TIA operational for 24 hours a day. Nepal is celebrating ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ so, the effective airport infrastructure is mandatory for welcoming a considerable amount of tourists.
The runway of TIA is most vulnerable till 1600m from RWY 02 (Koteshwor Side) so, the rehab project will be started from the RWY 02 side. CAAN is conducting the project for the first time so, there will arise some challenges, said Director General of CAAN Mr. Sanjeev Gautam.
80meters of runway must be repaired every day with new asphalt starting from 10 pm in the night and the runway must be active by 8 am in the next morning for accommodating wide-body aircraft. This is the most challenging task, added Mr. Gautam. At present, CAAN has 3 asphalt milling machine, 3 paving machines and other required equipment for the runway rehabilitation.
After the completion of runway rehab project, the taxiway rehabilitation project will begin.
TIA remains closed frequently these days following the repetitive cracks appeared in the runway due to which aircraft are compelled to hold on the sky creating a problem for the airline operators and airport management. New international airline operators have shown interest and applied for flight permissions to Nepal whereas domestic airlines are increasing their fleet in a competitive manner. This trend has pressurized TIA more which is now desperately in need of enhancement project to cater to the growing demand of airlines and passengers until other under construction international airports around the country come into operation.