Bharatpur airport located at Chitwan has become narrow after significant increase in air traffic, urbanization and lack of sufficient land infrastructure. The airport which started its service since 1961 has been experiencing momentous growth in air traffic these days.
The proposal of increasing the land capacity of the airport was put forward however, the efforts made weren’t strong enough.
According to Pawan Gautam, Chief of Bharatpur airport, the airport authority had requested Nepal Army (NA) to provide the land acquired by the horse farm but NA didn’t give positive response saying that the land can’t be provided at the present moment.
The land belonging to Nepal Army which is near the airport has been proposed to be feasible for airport expansion but Army said that it would be better if the airport is constructed 25 kms away from the city area.
Presently, the Jetstream 41 aircraft of Yeti airlines, Beechcraft 1900C aircraft of Simrik Airlines and ATR 42 series aircraft of Buddha Air having regular scheduled flights in Bharatpur airport have been impacted. Daily 15 landings have been recorded at the airport by airlines like Yeti, Buddha and Simrik Airlines.
The Bharatpur Civil Aviation Authority has recommended the metropolis to demolish parts of high-rise buildings, which have raised concerns among aviation authorities over potential risks they could pose to fight safety around the airport premises’.
The tall apartment buildings of ‘Unique Colony’ near the airport are imposing a major threat to all the aircraft approaching and taking off from this airport. A total of 257 houses near the airport premises are reported to have been built against the house building regulation of Nepal Government. Those houses are imposing the threat as well as a barrier for extension of the runway. The authorized authorities have not initiated any legal attempt against those builders.
Gautam acknowledged that they have been reporting for flight safety for 11 years now. The airport presently features 1200 meter lengthy runway but air operators are only able to use 1000 meters. The aircraft taking off through the airstrip are compiled to make an immediate descend on the short final towards the runway during landing. Due to such tall houses, aircraft cannot make full use of the runway and have to land 200 meter apart and brake forcefully which might cause an accident raising the eyebrow towards the safety concern.