Nepalgunj Airport has experienced a rapid increase in the number of air passengers when only a couple of days are left for the main day of Bijaya Dashami. Prem Nath Thakur, chief of Nepalgunj Airport stated however, the flight frequency is less compared to the arc of passengers.
Rural towns of Dolpa and Humla of Karnali region have no other alternative means of transportation. Local people are forced to use air services due to lack of proper roadways in Jumla, Mugu and most of the other parts of Far-western region.
The passengers of hilly district always face harsh situation in the time of festival following crisis of air tickets.
According to Chief Thakur, Tara Air and Summit Air have been operating one flight daily to Mugu, Dolpa, Humla, Jumla and Bajura. This airport is the main hub for western region and has accessibility to all regions which is another reason for the increase in ratio of air traveler.
Buddha Air has unveiled its plan to start international flights from Nepalgunj to New-Delhi with its Franco-Italian aircraft ATR 72-212A on May, this year to be starting from January, 2019 but has been hit by numerous unfavorable circumstances to initiate this commercial operation.
According to the Nepalgunj Airport Officials, the possibility of operating the international flight on Nepalgunj-Delhi sector is not possible from the existing facility at the airport.
A separate sector is required to operate international flights, but there is no such facility of separate sector in Nepalgunj. It will take about a year to construct the infrastructures so there are no possibilities of Nepalgunj – Delhi flight as seen now. Buddha Air planned to operate its direct flight from Nepalgunj- Delhi from mid of December but now it is not possible before end of year 2019, Airport Chief Premnath Thakur quoted.
For the Nepalgunj-Delhi flight, the current terminal of the Nepalgunj airport should be upgraded to international level, security structure should be enhanced and immigration arrangements should be upgraded. The authority has planned to construct 7 parking bays and terminal building in the west of the airport. The invitation for biding will be conducted after two months of completion of Terminal building.
Although, Buddha Air has planned to operate scheduled flight from Nepalgunj to New Delhi, due to inadequate infrastructure for international flights, the carrier has to wait for complete expansion of the runway too.