Tribhuvan International Airport, sole international airport of Nepal will remain closed for 10 hours per day from today (April 1) following the rehabilitation project of the runway.
TIA will remain close from 10 pm to 8 am (local time) for 45 days halting all the flight operations for accommodating the runway extension project.
According to the officials of TIA, 22-25 international air services and 60 domestic air services will be affected daily. In order to manage the air services, international airlines including Qatar Airways, China Southern, Malaysia Airlines, Jet Airways which have been operating flights between 10 pm to 8 am need to reschedule their flights.
Raj Kumar Chhetri, General Manager of TIA stated that these airlines have already been provided changed time slots to operate their flights.
TIA operates around 400 flights on a daily basis including 100 international flights.
The night international flights will be conducted after 8 AM morning whereas the domestic flights of 8 AM morning will be shifted to 2 hours later which mean that domestic flights will be conducted at 10 AM. Due to this, the air traffic arc will be increased drastically and it’s hard for the airport office to arrange flight managements.
The runway of TIA constructed in 1975, is going to be upgraded for the first time. This is the first time that the three-kilometre-long runway of the Tribhuvan International Airport will undergo an upgrade.
China National Aero Technology International Engineering Corporation, Chinese Company held a charge of the runway rehabilitation project of TIA. The agreement was signed on November 5, 2018.
Baburam Poudel, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal CAAN’s aviation capacity building project’s director stated that the contract company has made preparedness along with the management of necessary human resources and equipment. For the first phase, the runway of 3,000 meters would be blacktopped.
As per the plan, the airport’s runway would be pitched 80 metres per day by using the milling machine.
For the agreement with the Chinese construction company, NRs. 3.75 billion is going to be signed for the runway and taxiway rehabilitation project, Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Sanjeev Gautam said.
The renovation work will be conducted for 10 hours a day in 80m with use of milling machine at night. During the rehabilitation, TIA will be closed for 10 hours a day. After completing the runway work, the work of Parking bay will also be started.
The company has set a 45 days upgrade schedule while CAAN had set the period of 70 days of construction.
With the completion of the runway up-gradation, airport officials are planning to complete the task of constructing a taxi parking. However, it will take nearly 18 months to rehabilitate the taxiway of TIA in total.