Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is preparing to construct another airport at Gudel, Mahakulung, Solukhumbu for which Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been accomplished.
The report has been sent to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) for initiations of further processes.
According to Surya Kulung, Secretary of the Airport Coordination Committee, initial survey, detail survey, and soil testing has been completed. He also said that after the Ministry’s discussion on the report, the work of DPR (Detailed Project Report) will begin.
Gudel Mahakulung Airport will be constructed at VDC no.4 and 5 which will cover 278 ropani land. The total cost of construction of the airport is estimated to be Rs 1 billion where 600 meters runway will be constructed. After receiving EIA report from the ministry, the team including consumer committee, representatives of the ministry and environment experts will discuss the feasibility and further processes.
With the completion of DPR, the bidding process will begin. However, the process has been delayed as local have demanded compensation though they agreed to give land for free at the beginning. T
The agreement between local people and CAAN has been made where locals will provide land for the airport construction and the authority to construct the airport. VDC has also promised to contribute financially to the airport construction.
With the airport construction, it is expected to ease local people of Jubu, Lokhim. There will be 5 airports at Solukhumbu in Himalaya region after the completion of construction of Gudel Mahakulung Airport. Other constructed airports at Solukhumbu are Lukla Airport, Phaplu Airport, Syangboche, and Kangeldanda Airport. 2 airports, Lukla and Phaplu are only operational whereas Kangeldanda airport is out of operation for more than 3 years. Some cargo flights happen at Syangboche airport but passenger flight is already terminated.
Upon questioning CAAN about the construction of new airport despite being unable to operate existing airport, they said the process has been started in request of the local authority and need of locals.