Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) located at the birth place of Gautam Buddha has received flight proposal from Buddhist countries. The government is also preparing to conduct international flights as soon as construction work gets completed.
The government has been working on air routes required for international flights and selecting foreign airlines for GBIA. The project is being carried out in the aim of completing the construction work by June 28, 2019.
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) started working on commencing flights after the construction work reached the final phase.
“We will start international flights right after the construction work completes,” Rabindra Adhikari, Tourism Minister said. Air routes has been managed to conduct international flights from Bhairahawa, he added.
He said that the authority has arranged for conducting international flights directly from Bhairahawa to definite destination without any transit and the work has already been started. He claimed that there is no doubt that India will provide air route for international flights.
Minister Adhikari said that the discussion is going on for Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar air routes. The design has already been prepared for air routes and the speed of work regarding on air routes is intensified,” he added.
Most of the Buddhist countries of the world seem to be interested to operate direct flight to and fro Bhairahawa shortly after the completion of construction work.
Minister Adhikari said that different international airlines expressed interest to conduct direct flights to Bhairahawa in the air meeting last time.
According to him, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia including India are interested. Qatar Airways has also proposed for conducting flights at GBIA.
“We are preparing for the call after those nations sent proposal letters to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN),” said Minister Adhikari.
According to the study conducted by Asian Development Bank, 5 lakhs passengers will use this airport at first year and 20 lakhs passengers by 2020, 25 lakhs by 2025 and 60 lakhs passengers annually by 2027. Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, Japan, Thailand, Bangkok and Singapore will conduct direct flights. Likewise, South Asian and Indian tourist arc will increase rapidly.
Prabesh Adhikari, chief project officer stated that the purchasing process of main equipment has begun along with the construction of physical infrastructure. More than 20 per cent of the project work is related to the device, he added.
The runway of the airport will be 3,000 meters long .The second layer pitch of the runway out of 4 –layer pitch has been accomplished. He said that the third layer pitch will be done after 10 days.
“We are in the pace of completion of almost all the projects in the scheduled time,” he said.