The new airline companies at the present time will not be receiving Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to operate with its base at Kathmandu due to escalating air traffic and parking bay congestion at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). Until and unless the other international airport project completes and comes into operation or the new airlines opt to keep base out of Kathmandu the AOC approval is beyond expectation states the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
The new airline companies trying to enter into the domestic market can achieve AOC if they opt to keep their base out of Kathmandu. CAAN has enlisted Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi, and Surkhet airport as other alternative airports for new airlines.
The authority will give permission if new airlines company request for the base other than TIA.
At present, there are over 30 national and international airlines operating international flights from TIA. Having only 9 parking bays on the international platform, it is pretty difficult to accommodate all the aircraft. Besides, only one runway of TIA has to facilitate both domestic and international flights. Airlines have to hold for a minimum of 15 minutes to 1 hour in the sky these days.
The authority at the present scenario can’t dispatch AOC for operating from TIA because if provided, the airport safety protocols generated by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be violated.
Major domestic airline companies have already started conducting two dozen night flights daily from TIA with aim of reducing congestion. Private airlines like Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, and Shree airlines have commenced night flights. These airlines have received permission to conduct 25 flights daily from 6 pm to 9 pm from Kathmandu to various destinations. The night flights operation will play a vital role in reducing air traffic congestion of TIA.
TIA which operates for 21 hours a day handles more than 500 flights daily, including 100 by foreign carriers, during the peak travel period. CAAN report shows that this flight movement is double than that of what was recorded five years ago.