The construction of the Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa is reaching completion. According to airport development project, the physical framework is almost complete, and it will be operating within the next three months. In these years the airport has made around 95% cognitive growth.
Progress on integrating technical tools is also underway. The project’s engineering work, which had been postponed owing to the need to put in international technical manpower, is now underway. Nepali technicians perform the rest of the technical work at the airport. Simultaneously, with the introduction of qualified international professional manpower, the technical work has managed to be done rapidly.
According to the project’s chief officer, approximately 100 percent of the equipment required for the airport has already arrived. “More than 98 percent of the machinery has already arrived,” says the spokesman. The target personnel, which will be brought in from overseas, will also be arriving shortly. Currently, Nepali technicians are employed so that the remaining technical work will be done in less than three months,” he added.
Expert technicians from South Korea have already arrived, and two more from the United States will come in the next day or two, he says. Similarly, India would allocate about 15 technical staff. Six Chinese technicians are currently en route to Nepal. Within one to one and a half months after they all land, the configuring task will also be accomplished.
The airport might have been operating at the time if the Covid-19 outbreak had not existed. Despite the Corona outbreak, construction persisted. The technical work has been postponed due to the need to put in manpower from abroad and develop health standards. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) had arranged for the airport to be operational from the beginning of 2021, owing to the outbreak. According to CAAN, the airport’s service has been postponed attributable to incomplete technical work.
According to its critical state, the airport, a national pride initiative, has made a fast improvement. The airport’s building, which started in 2015 and was expected to be completed by December 2017, was delayed by the contractor’s incompetence. For the next two years, the project’s success was impressive.
Decoration and painting work is being undertaken to beautify the terminal, according to the project chief. Study on the technical side is still going on. At the airport’s terminal facility, there is also work to be completed on equipment connectivity. Baggage handling, a passenger safety test unit and air conditioning are all in the process of being established.
Northwest Civil Aviation Construction Corporation, a Chinese construction firm, is developing the airport. According to CAAN, the project would cost an average of NRs 7.32 billion in both phases and is being built with a concessional loan from the Asian Development Bank.
Six months in advance, the foreign airline contractor must be advised that the airport functions in compliance with international airport operating requirements. In terms of building, even though all of the development is finished in three months, the airport would require around six months to open for service.
The airport’s construction period was recently extended until March 2020. Due to Corona, the project, which was already in trouble being postponed due to technical problems, is even further delayed. Various promotional campaigns are being conducted to draw more Buddhists pilgrims from multiple countries to Gautam Buddha Airport, which is being planned for service shortly and will function as a Buddhist tourism hub.