Saroj Baniya


Two New International Airports in Nepal to be Operational Soon

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2022 is going to be a historic year for Nepal's aviation industry. The much-awaited operations of Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara Regional International Airport are slated to begin this year. Now passengers heading to Lumbini or Pokhara can fly directly to these cities without having to fly to Kathmandu. With only one international airport in the country, ie, Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal has long struggled with maintaining a proper international air connectivity. The international airport with a 3350m runway can only accommodate up to 15 aircraft, including three wide-body aircraft. The sole international airport of this Himalayan nation has received criticisms from international fliers citing the airport as being outdated and overcrowded. Air traffic congestion and weather-related difficulties are two issues that the airport has to deal with frequently. TIA at present connects Nepal with 17 countries and 40 destinations. With the opening of Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahwa and the Pokhara International Airport in Pokhara, air traffic congestion at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is expected to reduce significantly. Air passengers now also have the option to fly to these destinations directly without having to stop at Kathmandu. Compared to TIA both these airports have state-of-the-art infrastructure and modern cutting edge design. They are also equipped with passenger boarding bridge or sky bridge which will make boarding and exiting from the aircraft easier. Though TIA has been renovated and modernized in the past few years, it lacks an aerobridge which is an essential feature of modern airports.

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