Environment Impact Assessment process for proposed Nagidanda Airport commences

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process of a newly proposed domestic airport at Nagidanda, Kavre has commenced. The construction of the new domestic airport at Nagidanda is started with an aim to minimize air traffic of the only international airport of country Tribhuvan International airport (TIA).

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) started the project with the aim to complete it within 5 years and has provided Nrs 250 million from this fiscal year to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) for land acquisition and CAAN has now commenced the process for EIA.

After getting EIA report which will provide a brief idea about the total land requirement and total cost then CAAN will start Detailed Project Report (DPR). After the construction of the airport, it is expected to decrease TIA air traffic by 20-30%.

Director General of CAAN Mr. Sanjeev Gautam on a budget interaction program conducted on Sunday said that the land acquisition will only be done after EIA report. As per the budget plan and policy of CAAN, the construction of Nagidanda Airport will be continued from fiscal year 2075/76 only if the probability study yields positive results.

However, the airport will not be able to handle big aircraft like Bombardier CRJ’s, MA-60, and Beechcraft, ATR, Jetstream and various experts have questioned about its construction as the airport will be far from Kathmandu city and ongoing process of Kathmandu-Nijgadh fast track pacing up that will decrease the distance between the two cities. The airport after construction will only be able to handle STOL aircraft like Twin-Otter, Dornier, Y-12 e and LET.

As the government aims to increase tourism in the country, the ministry has expressed a need for another airport.

CAAN stated that around 20% of private land could only be required for the construction. The distance between TIA and Nagidanda airport is 24.6 kilometer or 8.62 nautical miles.

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