The runway construction work of Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) Project has reached its final stage. The blacktopping work has been started from Tuesday which comes under the fourth layering phase of the runway.
The runway will be fully ready within next 30 days if weather becomes favorable and no hurdle comes in between. The airport will see its 3000m runway blacktopped soon along with the blacktopping of taxiway and parking bays. The current runway of Gautam Buddha Airport will be used as taxiway for the international airport.
The physical infrastructure of GBIA will complete within the time-frame. However, installation of various equipment will be accomplished by the end of 2019 only.
Though the airport will be eligible for test flight, regular flight operation will only initiate once the international standards and guidelines are fulfilled. The overall completion of the airport project is expected by April, 2020.
Test flight can be done soon after the blacktopping work completes. Till now, almost 70 per cent of infrastructural work has been accomplished but the installation of equipment (ICB 02) will be initiated only after the end of 2019.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is preparing to select company for the installation of communication and navigation equipment. It would take over 9 months for the selection and installation process so, the operation date is extended.
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, Madhesh movement, blockade, earthquake etc. and the construction company had requested to extend the deadline till 2019 however, the project is further extended to 2020.
The airport will be the country’s second international airport and is expected to minimize the traffic congestion of Tribhuvan international Airport (TIA).