National pride project, Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) in Bhairahawa is set to construct new terminal building. The new international terminal building will be made to accommodate more passenger than the current under construction terminal.
The airport project is set to construct the new terminal building as the under construction terminal building which is being made with previous design may not handle forecasted passenger stated project official.
The under construction terminal building which is spread at around 15000 square meter will be used for domestic flight and the new terminal building will be spread around 35000 square meter which will be around the size of current only international airport Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
The tender for new terminal building is set to be called within a week and the proposed new terminal building will have around 15 parking bays along with fitted aero-bridge in contrast to 6 parking bays of current terminal building.
The idea about new building aroused as finance ministry’s concern about insufficiency of current facilities to meet future demand prompting to make bigger facilities.
The work of the airport located at birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha is in final phase and the work of runway construction and blacktopping, Terminal Building, control tower is being paced up and is in final phase.
Recently finance ministry has also approved for two possible modalities for the operation of the airport.
The airport will see its 3000m runway blacktopped soon along with the blacktopping of taxiway and parking bays. The current runway of Gautam Buddha Airport will be used as taxiway for the international airport.
Tender for supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of various equipment needed in operation of the airport has also paced up and the work is commencing soon. The physical infrastructure of GBIA will complete within the time-frame.
Test flight can be done soon after the blacktopping work completes. Till now, around 70 per cent of infrastructural work has been accomplished.
Similarly, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has also started work of constructing 10 thousand kiloliter aviation fuel storage plant at the airport. Currently, the airport only has capacity to hold 55 kiloliter aviation fuel which will only hold enough fuel for a day if international flights are conducted.
The project was awarded to China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group in November 2013 for NRs. 6.22 Billion and was expected to be completed by end of 2017.
However, it couldn’t complete due to dispute over payment between Chinese contractor and Nepali sub-contractor, Madhes movement, blockade, earthquake etc. and the construction company had requested to extend the deadline till 2019.
The airport will be the country’s second international airport and is expected to minimize the traffic congestion of Tribhuvan international Airport (TIA). The runway of the airport will be 3,000 meters long and 45 meter wide and is set to have CAT I standard Instrument Landing System (ILS).
According to the study conducted by Asian Development Bank, 50 Million passengers will use this airport at first year and 20 lakhs passengers by 2020, 250 million by 2025 and 600 million passengers annually by 2027.