Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has planned to hire a Nepali joint venture for the runway extension project.
According to Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project , they are likely to sign a pact with Kalika-Tundiu with worth nearly NRs 1 billion.
Previously, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) terminated the contract with no-show Chinese contractor company Shanxi Construction Engineering Group who took the responsibility of 300m runway extension of TIA in August.
Shanxi Construction Engineering Group of China and CAAN had contracted to extend the runway of sole international airport of country by 300 meters at its southern end or runway 02 in last October. However, the company didn’t commence the work complaining about increment in prices of construct.
Babu Ram Poudel, chief of the project stated that as per the Public Procurement Act, TIA has issued a notice of intent to agree the bid of second candidates among the shortlisted bidders. “ If there are no criticism from other parties then they would be signing a pact with Kalika-Tundi within 2 weeks, he added.
TIA is expected to be closed for 8 hours daily from Magh, 2075 (January 2019) for rehabilitation of the runway.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Mr. Rabindra Adhikari has informed about the initiation of necessary preparations for the runway rehab process to make TIA operational for 24 hours a day. Nepal is celebrating ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ so, the effective airport infrastructure is mandatory for welcoming a considerable amount of tourists.
The runway of TIA is most vulnerable till 1600m from RWY 02 (Koteshwor Side) so, the rehab project will be started from the RWY 02 side. CAAN is conducting the project for the first time so, there will arise some challenges, said Director General of CAAN Mr. Sanjeev Gautam.
The runway extension project is expected to be completed by 18 months.
CAAN had contracted Spanish company Constructora Sanjose for the same project but was ripped off in end of 2016 for performing only 17% of work in almost 4 years from the time of contract period. CAAN had invited bids in mid-2017 and broke the project into 4 packages and provided it to different contractor.
TIA remains closed frequently these days following the repetitive cracks appeared in the runway due to which aircraft are compelled to hold in the sky creating a problem for the airline operators and airport management. New international airline operators have shown interest and applied for flight permissions to Nepal whereas domestic airlines are increasing their fleet in a competitive manner. This trend has pressurized TIA more which is now desperately in need of enhancement project to cater to the growing demand of airlines and passengers until other under construction international airports around the country come into operation.