CAAN allocates 100 million for runway maintenance
12th Apr, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew
KATHMANDU, Apr 12: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has allocated Rs 100 million for runway maintenance at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The decision was taken in a meeting last week after the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari, instructed for TIA to start operating 21 hours a day as soon as possible.
The decision taken by the ministry has forced CAAN to speed up the ongoing renovation works under TIA expansion project to follow through with the instructions coming from the government. "TIA expansion work was running smoothly but now we are under pressure to complete the work as soon as possible in order to comply with the directives of the ministry," said Birendra Prasad Shrestha, spokesperson of CAAN.
CAAN says that while the airport can be run 24 hours a day, manpower crunch and the current condition of the runway present major issues to the idea.
"Another problem is that the TIA is situated in between dense settlements and the locals might protest the decision of running the airport for 24 hours," said Shrestha.
"We have operated TIA for 24 hours a day during emergency situations before," he said, "The problem is to give continuity to this service."
CAAN was looking forward to Gautam Buddha International Airport starting operation by 2017 which would divert significant amount of traffic away from TIA. However, delay on the project has affected the planning of CAAN regarding TIA management strategy.
The newly-appointed minister has declared upgrading TIA infrastructure and management as a priority in order to reduce air traffic congestion and better manage traffic flow at the airport.