The major enhancement projects for Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has been lacking progress after termination of contract with Sanjose Constructora two years ago.
Currently, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is mainly focusing on construction of new airports while showing less concern towards capacity enhancement of TIA. The project for international parking bay extension to accommodate 19 aircraft had been proposed however, no any relevant progress has been achieved till date.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Mr. Rabindra Adhikari has already committed to construct new alternative domestic airport at Nagidanda, Banepa for which CAAN has already announced preparations for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). It has been criticized that the Hon’ble minister Adhikari has not shown any interest towards air transport capacity enhancement of TIA.
The international parking bay accommodates 3 wide-body and 6 narrow-body aircraft. Two remote parking bays are under construction keeping in mind that the national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is receiving two new wide-body Airbus A330s.
CAAN planned major projects under new budget for TIA to enhance its air transport capacity. Being only international airport, TIA is facing problem to handle all international airlines as well as domestic airlines. Though CAAN has initiated new projects of constructing other international airports in the country, TIA will have to operate to its fullest but due to poor infrastructure and maintenance passengers and airlines have to suffer various consequences. But no any fruitful progress has been made after the contract was terminated with Sanjose.
The international terminal building of TIA has the capacity to handle 3 million passengers annually but 3.89 million passengers were served in the year 2017. Likewise, domestic terminal can serve 0.5 million passengers whereas it served 2.45 million passengers in 2017 which is clearly beyond the capacity. This shows the urgency of air transport capacity enhancement at TIA and other airports around the country.