Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has been operating 21 hours a day for more than a month however, no flights have been conducted at the lean hour. So far, no airline company has asked for a slot for the added time.
According to the changed schedule, TIA is being operated from 6 am to 3am in the morning. However, no flights could be operated after 12 in the night. The airport came into operation 21 hours a day from May 21, 2018. Earlier, the airport was operating from 6 am morning to 12 am in the night.
Prem Nath Thakur, spokesperson of TIA stated that during the added period, no airline companies asked for a slot for the flight. Himalaya Airlines and Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) have informally requested to provide time for the flight after midnight. Since, summer season’s schedule has already been approved, the airlines are likely to demand slot for flights in the winter season, he added.
Qatar Airways and Kuwait based Wataniya Airways have also been demanding time to operate flights from after 12 in the night but have not started the slot process for the flight.
The operation of 21 hours of TIA is one of the central works of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Mr. Rabindra Adhikari as part of his 100 days’ work plan. The airport came into operation for 21 hours, with the objective of reducing air traffic congestion in TIA. Even though airline companies do not add flights, the work has been carried out on 4 shift in the airport where more than a hundred employees of various department in the airport are still on duty till 3 AM morning.
Currently, around 30 international airlines companies are operating flights in TIA and are conducting more than 90 flights daily. Similarly, 350 flights have been operating daily in domestic flight.