The country’s only international airport experiences frequent cracks in its runway, taxiway and peripheral roads for which daily maintenance is mandatory. At present, the renovation of peripheral roads is going on at Tribhuvan International Airport which will recover the ruptures developed on the blacktopping.
The rehabilitation work is on progress and is expected to continue for 2 to 3 more months. Spokesperson for TIA Mr. Prem Nath Thakur said, “The regular movement of vehicles at the periphery roads has been creating problem to complete the work in short period of time. So, it would take more than 2 months for the complete rehabilitation.”
The ongoing rehabilitation project is overlaying the existing taxiways and peripheral roads with the blacktopping. This initiative could enhance the infrastructure to some extent but will not be sustainable. The taxiways and peripheral roads at TIA are erratic due to which aircraft taxiing at TIA experience some vibrations.
The parking bay constructed at the East Helipad section has been frequently receiving cracks in its structure. Poor construction at the region has been compelling the airport to get renovated time and again. Besides, the only runway of TIA is suffered by frequent cracks and the rehabilitation works needs to be carried out midnight at the time of airport closure. The runway, taxiways and peripheral roads at TIA can be compared to the current road situations of Kathmandu which features cracks, uneven leveling and rough structures. These all circumstances show that TIA is out of standard safety operations.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is in process of initiating Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project (ATCEP) at TIA which will cover runway extension, international terminal building expansion and other utility enhancement at the airport. Besides, CAAN is also planning to change the current helipad and convert it to the parking ramp in-order to eradicate the parking congestion problems at the airport. CAAN has already selected the eligible construction companies for runway and international terminal building expansion whereas other enhancement projects are yet to be finalized.
To release pressures on TIA, some other international airport projects are ongoing but will take minimum of 5 years for completion. So, TIA with its current infrastructures has to handle the maximum number of flight operations which is the main reason for repeated occurrence of cracks in the runway and taxiways.
TIA is desperately requiring complete renovation which is practically impossible at this time as there are no any other alternative international airports around the country.