The ongoing construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport at Bhairahawa is expected to come into operation from mid-2019 and President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has urged to work in cooperation. The construction work is going on rapidly without any disruption.
According to the authority, the runway, taxiway, parking and apron attained more than 58 per cent of the physical progress as Chinese Company Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction has boosted up the work since change in its management. The runway of the airport will be 3,000 meters long.
The construction work is directly under supervision of Tourism Minister (MoCTCA) Rabindra Adhikari. Construction Company has stated to bring runway into operation from June end of 2019.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari urged government to work in cooperation with local along with private sector for development of tourism infrastructure in the speech at the Lumbini Buddhist University 14th Establishment Day. She directed to complete the airport work for the prosperity of the religious site as well as development of the tourism.
President Bhandari also added that the completion of the airport is very much necessary to connect Lumbini with other tourist destination for overall promotion and development of that area.
Work for installation of CNS (Communication, Navigation and Surveillance) and Air Traffic Management systems has also been started as various firms have bided for its tender.
Still 500 bigha of land acquisition is needed to extend other infrastructure in the airport. The construction work of terminal buildings, water tanks, and control towers, among other infrastructures, are also underway of construction.
Nepal Oil Corporation is also set to establish aviation fuel depot at the airport which will have capacity to reserve fuel of around two thousand kiloliter.
The project was awarded to China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group in November 2013 for Rs. 6.22 arba and was expected to be completed by end of 2017 but due to shortages of fuel and building materials and due to the months-long Terai closure in 2015 delayed the works by six months along with dispute between the Chinese contractor and the Nepali sub-contractor, Northwest Infra Nepal, and its operation deadline was revised to June 2018 and now to 2019.
The government has been prioritizing on the airport and has been working on its completion in order to aid in “Tourism year-2020” to bring around 2 million tourist in the country.