The only airport in Bajhang district has been out of operation since last 9 years. The airport was closed in the year 2065 after road infrastructure became live in Chainpur, Bajhang.
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) had conducted scheduled flight at Deval Airport, Bajhang in the year 2035. The corporation conducted two flights in a week from Nepalgunj to Bajhang and Bajhang to Nepalgunj. Later, private airlines Tara Airlines, Makalu Air started conducting two to three flights a week. But later on, private airlines stopped flights saying that it is not safe due to the negligence from government. Since then, the airport has not been able to continue its operation for ten years.
After closing the air service, the employees working there are also transferred to the other airport. Khadak Nepali, who has been working as the office assistant of the airport for the last 28 years said, “The airport officials are not willing to return.”
Due to cancellations of flights, the locals mainly the ill patients have been directly affected. As a result of such reasons, the patients who have been referred to Nepalgunj and Kathmandu hospitals are compelled to use roadways instead. The serious illness patients with risky health conditions have to use to road ways. In the rainy season, the roadway is also closed.
The locals complain that the local public sector has not shown interest in operating the airport.
The government should bring the airport in operation which will make ease to tourists to travel Mansarobar of Tibet and Mountain Saipal. The roadway to Kailash Mansarovar (a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus) is comfortable from Bajhang and also covers short distance. So, the authorities from Bajhang quotes the operation of airport is necessary. At present, Simikot Airport is handling all the flight pressures building up due to the increasing number of travellers for Kailash Mansarovar Trek.
District bodies claimed to be unsatisfied when political parties’ leaders don’t show any interest in bringing the airport in operation.
The proposal of re-opening and upgrading the airport had been drafted to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation on 7th August, 2017 however, no any further initiation have been made.
The written proposal of blacktopping and conducting flight operations at Bajhang Airport was filed to the Honorable Minister jointly by the Far-western road construction department, engineers along with the constitutional representatives and media personnel.