The runway overlay project of Nepalgunj Airport located at Banke District has been completed. The overly project of the runway was handed over to Pappu construction and the project was completed on November 16, 2018.
Previously, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Rabindra Adhikari and Director General visited Nepalgunj Airport and directed to carry on the process for the runway extension.
According to the plan, the runway of 1500 meters long will be extended to 300m in the West and 200m towards the East. Tourism Minister (MoCTCA) Rabindra Adhikari started the construction project by laying foundation stone in airport premise on November 1, 2018. Runway of the airport along with parking bays will be upgraded within 18 months.
The airport’s terminal building, parking bay, immigration, custom, installation of X-ray machine, CCTV cameras etc. are being upgraded to upgrade the airport as regional international airport as soon as possible.
The 6 parking bays will be added to the airport which can hold ATR 72-500 series aircraft. The 280 million Nepalese Rupees project has been agreed with Kancharam Construction Pvt. Ltd. The project is set to be initiated by October and will take 18 months for completion as per Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
According to official of the airport, designs for infrastructures other than parking have been started and will be completed by coming month. Currently there are 2 parking bays for ATR 72 series aircraft. The airport currently has 1505 meter long runway. The extension of runway to 2000 meter is also going on inside the airport.
Private carrier, Buddha Air has already acquired permission to operate flights to New-Delhi from the airport however problems like slot management from Indian side and inadequate infrastructure for international flights from the airport has hold the flights of the carrier. The local government has stated that process to eradicate the problem has been initiated and federal government has been informed.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has approved the flight schedule of Nepalgunj-Delhi route for Buddha Air to be implemented from January 1, 2019. Buddha Air, earlier requested Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) to approve the carrier to operate 3 flights daily at 6:30am morning, 1 pm at afternoon and 5:10 pm evening.
The Indian government will give approval for conducting flight after examining the security and safety. After approval, the slot will be prepared.
At present, flights to western and far-western region of the country are being carried out from the airport. And it is one of the busiest domestic airports in Nepal acting as a hub of western Nepal. Nepal Airlines, Buddha Air, Shree Airlines, Saurya airlines and Yeti Airlines are performing flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport) and Tara Air, Sita Air and Summit Air are conducting flight to rural areas from via Nepalgunj airport. Around 90 flights during peak seasons are being carried out at the airport.