Towering buildings around Bharatpur Airport risking flight safety

Construction of high range building around Bharatpur Airport, Chitwan against the criteria provided by the government has increased the risk of flight safety. Modern aircraft like ATR-42, Jet streams etc. fly in this airport and such high buildings has impacted for their flight. Currently, 15 flights provide service on daily basis by airlines like Yeti, Buddha and Simrik.

According to the committee formed to report the physical structure against the airport standards, they found 257 houses build permanently around the airport that has resulted in problem. The committee has suggested Bharatpur Civil Aviation office that such building are being problematic for flight arrival and departure and if not checked in time it will certainly bring more disaster in near future.

Airport chief Pawan Gautam said that they have been reporting for flight safety for 11 years now. Now even more danger has been increased as the electricity authority has added more than 11,000 kV open wire lines in the area. The airport has reported to remove or underground the lines to the electricity authority. Local administration has also taken initiative to remove the risk of open wire. But the electricity authority main office has stated that all the expense that will b required while undergrounding the wire should be paid by the airport.

The airport has only 1200 meter lengthy runway and small airplanes take 600 to 800 meter of runway to land whereas big airplanes need 1400 meter. Due to such tall houses, aircraft cannot make full use of the runway and have to land 200 meter apart and brake forcefully which might cause an accident. The only way to minimize the risk will be to demolish big houses says chief Gautam. There are 7-8 houses around airport that need to be demolished immediately.

Another suggestion of expanding airport in north side to army’s horse farm was proposed back in 2071 but that has not been implemented yet. Government had separated around 150 bighas of land in 2015 BS for the airport.

The airport has been providing service since 2018 BS to peoples of Hetauda, Tanahu and Gorkha. After the idea of diminishing the houses came in news, peoples living in the area formed a conflict committee which has been objecting the plan. They are objecting the plan for initially failing to stop the construction of houses. The chief district officer and other government officials have suggested it will be difficult to remove the human settlement so the airport should think about it.

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