Nepalgunj Airport hasn’t been able to conduct scheduled flights due to presence of thick fog at the airport periphery.
According to the airport officials, the flight between Nepalgunj to Kathmandu has been cancelled following thick fog.
5 flights were conducted at Karnali in the morning, the official said.
The aircraft are stranded at hilly district after the thick fog appeared at the airport periphery.
Due to cancellation of flights, air passengers have been affected.
The presence of dense fog ruined Christmas plans for many visitors as dozens of flights got delayed and even cancelled.
The increase in the dense fog has also affected local people’s lives. In the history of Nepalgunj, this is the first time the level of dense fog has appeared.
Due to dense fog, visibility has been greatly reduced. A minimum visibility of 5000 meters is required for an aircraft to safely land with Visual Flight Rule (VFR).
Previously, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), only international airport of the nation also had halted its operation for few hours in the morning following adverse weather on November 20, 2018.
Recently, Nepalgunj Airport has completed the runway overlaying work.
As per CAAN, the airport is being upgraded to handle international flights and private carrier Buddha Airlines has already applied to operate flights to India via Nepalgunj Airport. Currently the airport only has 2 parking bays and it is being problematic to accommodate more aircraft due to increase in air passenger.
The airport currently has 1505 meter long runway. The extension of runway to 2000 meter is also going on in the airport.
The airport’s terminal building, parking bay, immigration, custom, installation of X-ray machine, CCTV camera etc. are also being upgraded to make the airport as regional international airport as soon as possible.
At present, flights to western and far-western region of the country are being carried out from the airport. And it is one of the busiest domestic airports in Nepal acting as a hub of western Nepal. Nepal Airlines, Buddha Air, Shree Airlines, and Yeti Airlines are performing flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport) and Tara Air, Sita Air and Summit Air are conducting flight to rural areas from Nepalgunj airport. Around 90 flights during peak seasons are being carried out at the airport.
Due to the lack of proper equipments in the airports, the disruption of flight operation at Terai is common at the time of unfavorable weather conditions and specially in the winter season.