CAAN to invest in Package 4 work of TIA

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) will be financing over Package 4 work of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project (ATCEP). The work consists of building international parking bays, extending parallel taxiway as well as work of soil filling.

CAAN took the decision to invest in the project themselves rather than taking loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) stating that the project is lengthy and will procure more cost.

CAAN is set to re-tender notice for the project in around 1st week of March and will finance the project.

CAAN had previously called invitation to bid for the program after the project was resurrected around 2 and half years later. However it was cancelled at the final moment after the main financer for the project ADB made objection over it stating the tender call was made prior to approval of funding.

The work of Package 4 will take around 3 or more years and is the most critical part. It consist of adding around 2.1 million cubic meter of soil to fill over northern side to construct parking bay that will have capacity to hold around 15 aircraft.

ADB stated that the project funding deadline was in mid-December last year and they have agreed to finance the project through other sources with CAAN however, the authority stated that the process has been halted for long now and waiting for permission from ADB will take around half a year more thus has decided to fund the project themselves to start the project as soon as possible.

Under the ATCEP, TIA is set to make improvements such as reconfiguration and upgrading of airfield infrastructures, construction of parallel and link taxiways, new international apron, 300 meters of runway extension, construction of runway end safety area and an uninterrupted power supply system for essential airfield and security area lights. Moreover, the international terminal building will also be expanded and reconfigured with improvement in utility facilities.

Previously in 2016, the contract was awarded to San Jose however, the company couldn’t initiate the project and was terminated in December, 2016. San Jose had completed only 18 % of work so CAAN terminated the contract and provided new contract to other company.

Last year, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) had divided the work in 3 parts as issuing the work designated to only 1 company did not work out as expected.

Out of the three packages, NCB-01 deals with the expansion of runway of which the contract has been given to ‘China Shanxi Construction and engineering’ company. NCB-02 which is related to expansion of Terminal Building contract has been given to Nepali Company ‘Sharma Prera Ashishal’. Likewise, NCB-03 is about the Generator installation along with light installation contract that has been given to Nepali company ‘Ashish and Prera Joint Venture’.

The project was started as TIA is only International Airport of the country and it is facing the problem of increased flight due to which planes have to hold in the air for long period of time and in tourist peak season even more.
Late Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari had inspected the runway of the airport couple of days back. The rehabilitation of runway of the airport is going to be initiated from April 1st 2019 (Chaitra 18). The airport will remain closed from 10 pm to 8 am in the morning halting all the flight operations for accommodating the runway extension project.

The runway is set to be upgraded for first time since the runway of the airport was constructed in 1975.