National pride project, Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) project which has completed around 70% of physical work is set to commence flight operation from early 2020.
The airport will be operating flight operation of the airport from January 2020 stated the project head.
The runway construction work of the airport has reached its final stage as the work of 4th layer runway blacktopping is being carried out rapidly, he added. The 3000 meter runway 4th layer blacktopping project commenced from last month.
The works of taxiway and parking bays are also in final level out of 4 and the work will be initiated as soon as the work of runway completes. Similarly finishing work of terminal building is being carried out.
The control tower of the airport will be of 8 floors and the work of construction of last floor is being done along with furnishing of Civil Aviation Authorities Administration building.
After completion of blacktopping project, work of installing airfield light, connecting runway with Apron and taxiway etc. work will be carried out. After the operation of the runway, 400 meter of taxiway; 200 in east and 200 on west side will be extended. The project has also planned to use old runway as the parallel taxiway in future.
The airport project is also set to construct the new terminal building as the under construction terminal building which is being made with previous design may not handle forecasted passenger stated project official.
The under construction terminal building which is spread at around 15000 square meter will be used for domestic flight and the new terminal building will be spread around 35000 square meter which will be around the size of current only international airport Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Recently finance ministry has also approved for two possible modalities for the operation of the airport. The ministry has given approval to operate the airport under Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) or by bringing in foreign operators through competition to operate the airport.
CAAN and Thai firm ‘Aeronautical Radio of Thailand’ signed the agreement on supply, delivery, installation and Commissioning of CNS (Communication, Navigation and Surveillance) and Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems for the under construction
Similarly, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has also started work of constructing 10 thousand kiloliter aviation fuel storage plant at the airport. Currently, the airport only has capacity to hold 55 kiloliter aviation fuel which will only hold enough fuel for a day if international flights are conducted.
The project was awarded to China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group in November 2013 for NRs. 6.22 Billion and was expected to be completed by end of 2017.
However, it couldn’t complete due to dispute over payment between Chinese contractor and Nepali sub-contractor, Madhes movement, blockade, earthquake etc. and the construction company had requested to extend the deadline till 2019.
The airport will be the country’s second international airport and is expected to minimize the traffic congestion of Tribhuvan international Airport (TIA). The runway of the airport will be 3,000 meters long and 45 meter wide and is set to have CAT I standard Instrument Landing System (ILS).