Qatar expresses interest to construct Nijgadh Airport

Qatar, Gulf nation has expressed the desire to construct proposed Nijgadh International Airport.

According to high source of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Qatar has submitted proposal to Nepal government for constructing second international airport. High sources said that other nations have also submitted proposal but Qatar’s proposal is beneficial and there has been a lot of discussion in it.

During the Qatar visit of President Vidya Devi Bhandari on October, 2018, Qatar showed interest to build Nijgadh International Airport.

The source informed that the discussion were held more than 3 times about the investment, modality and operation between Nepal and Qatar government.

Qatar initially proposed to construct Nijgadh International Airport in EPCF (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Financing). Since Nepal government decided to build the Nijgadh airport in Boot (build, own, operate , transfer), Qatar has proposed to construct the airport in the same model.

“We have reached near to majority agreement for the construction mode,” the source said. Technical studies will be conducted after selection of mode is done from political level, the source added.

After selecting Qatar for constructing the airport, more about this project will be determined by the agreement between government and government.

Bishnu Rimal, Chief advisor of Prime Minister KP Oli stated that the government will no longer call for tender for large project but will hand over the construction work by negotiating with government.

Qatar had already proposed to cooperate in air service in Nepal. Qatar Airways expressed its willingness to become a partner after the government decision to take Nepal Airline Corporation into company mode.

Qatar prior to make diplomatic relationship with other nations after Egypt, UAE conducted blockade in 2017.

Qatar airways bought 5% share of China Southern Airlines a week ago.

The airport will be developed in three phases. The first phase, as per the detailed feasibility study (DFS) of the project, will be of 10 years; the second phase will be of 5 years, and the third or final phase will be of 25 years.

The project envisions building a modern airport in Nijgadh in Bara district, 175 km from Kathmandu in the southern plains.

In the first phase, two years will be spent for site clearance works, and then another five years will be spent on constructing the airport that will have 3,600-meter-long and 60-meter-width runway. According to the DFS of the Landmark Worldwide Company (LMW) of South Korea, after the first phase of the construction is complete, the airport will be able to handle 15 million passengers annually and accommodate the Airbus A380 super jumbo.

By the end of the third phase, the airport will have a parallel runway enabling it to handle 60 million passengers annually. If built, the Nijgadh International Airport will be an air hub joining 27 Asian cities and generate over 100,000 jobs, according to LMW report.

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