Minister Adhikari satisfied with the progress of Gautam Buddha Int’l Airport project

Honorable Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Mr. Rabindra Adhikari inspected the under construction Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) yesterday. The construction of runway, taxiway, apron, control tower and the international terminal building is currently being carried out.

Minister Adhikari said that he was satisfied with the progress adding that the airport project with the current pace and progress will complete within the time frame and operate thereafter.

GBIA, a national pride project has attained over 50 percent physical progress. Likewise, 70 percent physical progress for the parking Area has been accomplished and remaining 30 percent will be completed soon. The airport is expected to conduct first flight on 27th September 2019.

Control Tower of GBIA

Previously, the project faced some disturbances as locals had protested against the authority by setting up tents in runway site for the delay in the distribution of compensation for the land acquisition process. Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) released 2 billion rupees in projects account to be distributed to landowners then the protest was suspended by the locals.

MoCTCA has already sent a correspondence letter to the concerned authority to operate Gautam Buddha International Airport within next year. Ministry has informed other correlated bodies who directly or indirectly involve in the airport operations.

View of Apron area, terminal building, and control tower

Likewise, International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group is likely to be appointed as the transaction advisory service provider by the Nepal government for under construction Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) of Bhairahawa.

IFC has presented a proposal conveying interest to support in preparing tender documents, publishing a notice on the related tender and go for appropriate private party to operate the airport to the government for the construction project of Bhairahawa airport.

MoCTCA has shown optimistic feedback on the subject of handover operational responsibility to public-private partnership (PPP) of Bhairahawa Airport. In the case of selection of PPP, it will be responsible for the operation of the airport excluding air traffic control, security, customs, and immigration.

NPC (National Planning Commission) also requested the government to identify risks and profit of the project, responsibility of the private sector, operating law for a national and international airport, quality assurance and safety and security at the airport before inducting private investment.

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