Pokhara Airport troubled with congested parking

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Pokhara Airport troubled with congested parking

February 28, 2017-Pokhara
By Suman Karki

Pokhara Airport parking remained congested with a total of nine aircraft parked on Monday morning till around 11 am. Seven domestic airplanes along with two helicopters were adjusted on a narrow parking yesterday.

Normally Pokhara airport can hold only two ATR and three Twin Otter aircraft, adjusting a total of five aircraft on its parking as per the stander requirement. But inadequate parking space compelled the airport to adjust nine aircraft with a close gap. Pokhara Airport is enforced to allow unmanaged parking without considering that there may be emergency situation due to increase in air traffic at Kathmandu airspace.

The problem of parking in Pokhara airport occurs mostly and was repeated this Monday. According to the airport officer, the problem of parking occurs repeatedly. Lack of parking space resulted for obstruction in flight almost for one and half hours at the other side Kathmandu’s air traffic remained busy. He also added that the aircraft inbound to Pokhara had to hold at Pokhara and there was no any space for emergency situations.

Flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara happen normally but increase in Kathmandu’s  air traffic compels flights to be held at Pokhara. According to an airport worker, mountain flights occur rapidly in morning due to less air traffic in Kathmandu however, the air traffic in Kathmandu will have increased by the time mountain flights arrives back. Sometimes this situation results in Kathmandu airport to be closed. This is why the scheduled flights get affected.

Other reasons include increasing air traffic in Kathmandu resulting diversion to Pokhara airport and pollution from Kathmandu. Moreover, the increase in the fleet from airlines company but the lack of parking infrastructures is also the major concern. One of the workers said that the normal situation wouldn’t affect much but in the case of emergency, it may bring a huge destruction.

The chief of Pokhara Airport Bhola Prasad Guragain said that the reason behind the airport being crowded is the allocation of the airport as the alternative for Mountain flights. He also added that the parking space is considerably low and is unable to handle emergency situations. Mainly the problem has risen from Kathmandu’s increasing air traffic.

Airlines Companies are also facing difficulties due to insufficient parking spaces. Manager Gautam Baral from Buddha Air, Pokhara said that the crowded sky of Kathmandu has forced to hold the flights at Pokhara making it more complex. Baral also said, “Airlines companies are increasing rapidly but the infrastructures are left undeveloped due to which the problem is further rising”.

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