31 years after the establishment of Kotwada Airport in the Kalikot district, the test flight was done last year. Tara Air’s Twin Otter 9N-ABM successfully conducted its test flight on 11th February 2017 last year however, the commercial operation is yet to start.
The test flight was conducted under the commitment of former Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Mr Jiwan Bahadur Shahi. Villagers were highly delighted to see the aircraft in their airport but now are waiting for commercial operation.
As Mr Shahi was the minister, he had promised to put the airport in operation soon. However, Nepali Congress secretary-general for Kalikot, Daman Bahadur Shahi, said that soon after he left the government, the problem of bringing the airport to regular operation started.
Photo File: Huge crowd of villagers seen welcoming Tara Air Twin Otter at Kotwada Airport on 11th February, 2017
The airport was ready to conduct flight regularly while Shahi was the minister but he said, “It was not possible because he had to resign soon as a Minister.”
Local Ganesha Bahadur Bista said that everyone had made airport as an electoral agenda but after the victory, nobody has paid attention to it.
Kotwada Airport construction project’s chief engineer Ratna Bahadur Shrestha said that the initiation for regular flights will be made after the construction of airport will be finished.
Kotwada Airport is located in Nararinath village and has been constructed to facilitate 5 VDCs of the district. There is no access to road transportation in this village. Local residents, Ram Bahadur Bista, said that the residents of the village are forced to walk more than an hour to get access to road transportation.
This village is the most populated village in the district but still road infrastructure has not been established.
After 31 years of the inauguration, Kotwada airport saw a test flight only once but the initiation of commercial operation is yet to take place. At present, there is no any concern from the respective authorities to bring the airport into operation.