Prime Minster of Nepal, Mr. KP Sharma Oli has raised the concern on the issue of airspace proposal between Nepal and India during their meeting in New Delhi few weeks ago.
Addressing the lawmakers from Province 5 in Butwal, Oli assured his audience that his government will secure a deal with India to allow international flights to and fro the soon-to-be ready Gautam Buddha International Airport.
“India has only given us one airway and the only option we have for international flights is to use the Birgunj-Simara route,” said Oli adding, “India must give us additional routes for which I have raised the issue during my recent visit to India.”
“We will claim the new airway to Bhairahawa and the airport will come into operation,” the Prime Minister added. His statement comes as construction work gathers pace at Pokhara and Bhairahawa where two new regional international airports are being built. According to aviation experts, new airway must be opened for land-locked Nepal to make the operation of the airports viable.
Nepal has urged to provide three new entry air routes through Janakpur, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar with the view to connect three new additional international airports i.e. Nijgadh, Bhairawa and Pokhara. However, Nepal presently has only one air route for its international flights.
As international airlines connecting Kathmandu use the Simara route (SMR), aircraft have to make their descent and climb in the Indian airspace following the STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) and SID (Standard Instrument Departure Route), respectively.