After 74 years of operation of Tribhuvan International Airport, another new international airport has come into operation in the country.
The prestigious Gautam Buddha International Airport constructed in Bhairahawa (Rupendehi) as a project of national pride has come into operation from today.
Engineer Pradip Adhikari, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, informed that the new runway of Gautam Buddha International Airport has been formally opened. ‘The second international airport has come into operation properly. This is a milestone in the 74-year history of the civil aviation sector. We would like to give special thanks to all those directly and indirectly involved in the project, ”he said.
Director General Adhikari informed that the old 1,500-meter long runway of the airport has been closed and a new 3,000-meter long international runway has been opened. Even though the runway of Gautam Buddha International Airport is operational from today, the international flight will start from the day of Buddha Jayanti on May 20, according to NEA.
Domestic flights have been operated from the new runway from today. However, now foreign airlines will be able to land at Bhairahawa Airport in case of closure of Kathmandu Airport or any other emergency.
Bikram Gautam, co-coordinator of Operation Readiness and Airport Transport, informed that domestic flights have started from today at Gautam Buddha International Airport. He mentioned that all the flights will be operated from the new runway. He said, “Bhairahawa came into operation as an internal airport on July 4, 1958. Now we have announced that it has started as an international airport from today. ‘
Jazeera Air has made all preparations for international flights at this airport. International flights will be operated from May 2. So far, Jazeera has formally obtained permission. Other airlines are also contacting. They have been interested in various processes since visiting the airport. The airport is confident that other airlines will also fly soon.
Narrowbody and widebody ships will land at Gautam Buddha Airport. Mechanical test flight (calibration flight) has been completed at this airport. The commercial operation of Gautam Buddha Airport, a project of national pride, is a new leap in the history of aviation of the country, said the concerned official.
The first flight of Yati Airlines inland
Domestic airlines have started flying as soon as the new runway of Gautam Buddha International Airport came into operation from today. According to the airport, the first flight from the new runway was flown by private sector airline Yati Airlines today.
The first flight took off at 7:45 am, said Sudarshan Bartaula, a spokesman for Yeti Airlines. Private sector companies including Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Shree Airlines, Saurya Airlines have been flying.
According to NEA, the Gautam Buddha International Airport will be operated at the capacity of Tribhuvan International Airport. Gautam Buddha Airport is a project that has made rapid progress after reaching a critical stage. NEA understands that it is a model project to achieve rapid progress among the projects of national pride.
Work on the airport, which began in early 2015 to be completed by December 2017, was halted due to negligence on the part of the contractor. Although last planned to be completed by March 2020, the airport came into commercial operation after about five years due to the Kovid-19 epidemic.
The airport was built by Chinese construction company Northwest Civil Aviation Construction Group. According to NEA, about Rs 11 billion has been spent in the first phase of the project, which was constructed with a concessional loan from the Asian Development Bank. Now the construction process of the second phase terminal building will be started soon.
It is believed that the pressure of the current Tribhuvan International Airport will be reduced when this airport with a total width of 45 meters and a length of 3,000 meters is brought into commercial operation.
NEA is preparing to operate the international airport 24 hours a day to manage the increasing air pressure. According to NEA, Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara Regional International Airport under construction will now operate for two hours.
According to the Director General of NEA, the TIA has been operating 24 hours a day since the Republic Day on May 30. He said that it has been decided to operate Kathmandu Airport 24 hours a day to manage the increased air pressure after the Corona epidemic.