Tribhuvan International Airport Surviving With Its Aged Solitary Runway

TIA - aviationnepal
TIA Solor Runway

Tribhuvan International Airport Surviving With Its Aged Solitary Runway

Kathmandu – 07 September 2016

The only runway of the only international airport of Nepal has become controversial time to time from times it got damaged to the times when it got unexpectedly occupied. The presence of only one runway for entire international as well as domestic operations of airlines hub at Kathmandu makes it really a very busy strip of asphalt that has to handle hundreds of aircraft daily and to witness any mishap that incurs within the airport.

The 50 years old runway oriented at 02 / 20 has its length at 10,007 feet along with its width at 150 feet. The only and ageing runway definitely does not meet the ICAO safety requirements as it needs a longer length and certainly must be wider. And the runway that was designed to handle only 197 tons of landing loads a day while it was built in 1967 handles 300 tons of load everyday now with no sign of being upgraded. The vision of CAAN to increase the air connectivity invites large wide-body aircraft and imposes additional load to the runway.

As an outcome, cracks have been reflected on the upper surface of the runway triggered from the lower asphalt foundation as soon as the large jets land the surface. A lot of incidents of runway cracks have been reported causing the diversion of many flights form minutes to hours and days. In contrast, the runway crack incidents are a major threat to airport operations which are largely influenced in rainy season and this phase when it has lived too long. The administrative authority of TIA has overlooked this serious matter and left the runway to get all the criticism. The airport expansion project has no provision for runway upgrade or runway expansion.

Despite of the long run still the expanding of Tribhuvan International Airport is making viscous move, and even the extension of the runway has been accomplished but what has been overlooked is the solo international runway to takeoff and landing as a consequence in the absence of this runway for any instance reason the entire country cannot fly, none from outside country can enter through airway baring road way.

The matter of fact that Nepal is a landlocked country where the entrance to the country are road way and airway where most preferred airway entrance for the obvious reason. On the other hand, despite Government has cried out about other international airport still presently Nepal is sustaining with its solitary international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport and solitary runway of it to carry all international outgoing and incoming. However, till the date, has this thought ever struck on the mind of authorities, what if the only international runway encounter major halts that impose it to stop serving for long time. And apparently it’s not that it hasn’t happened, the airport rush during earthquake 2015 and before that Turkish Airlines A330 crash land has made authority along with entire carriers to go through trauma.

Considered a hindrance, it’s been ages that Tribhuvan International Airport surviving with single runway and in this long run it has been fortunate not to sustain any major mishap with a casualties but having said this, does it means that it doesn’t need alternative runway to comfort the operation likewise to reduce further halt in the airport operation? To speak out in this matter to the Government and concerned authorities it’s needless as if you look around the existing old aged runway the outrage even burst out to view the clumsy maintenance of the runway and it’s surrounding.

Tribhuvan International Airport- avitionenpal
Jet Airways Boeing B737 ” VT-JBD ” at TIA, Nepal

The clean and well maintained runway, ramp and parking is indispensable to ensure the area is free of debris and waste that can lead to possible FODs ( Foreign Object Damage). The repetitive bird hit is the affect of not scheduled maintained grassy area around the runway that welcomes worms and insects, which apparently is the free food for the bird around runway vicinity.

No matter what, the sole burden carrier of our nation, TIA runway that teaches us patience, continuity and unprecedented pride to have within us, gets all the criticism, yet is always ready to take on the world.

You May Also Like