CAAN to fill budget gap for new taxiway


9th Mar, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew


KATHMANDU, Mar 09: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is set to fund $40-50 million to make up the budget shortfall to build a parallel taxiway and international apron at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) under the Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project.

 

The $92-million project, jointly funded by the government ($12 million) and the Asian Development Bank ($80 million in loan and grant), was started in December 2010 with the completion deadline set for March 2016.

It included upgrading TIA’s airside infrastructure to international safety standards, building a new 1,400-meter parallel taxiway and constructing a new international apron.

The ADB recently said that there was only $15 million to continue the construction of the parallel taxiway and international apron, and urged CAAN to fill the budget gap.

“The funding shortfall is $40-50 million, and we are ready to make up the deficit,” said Sanjiv Gautam, director general of CAAN. “We are waiting for a new minister. As soon as the minister is appointed, the CAAN board will approve the amount,” he said. The tourism minister chairs the CAAN board.

CAAN, however, is yet to award the construction contract for the parallel taxiway and international apron. As per the project timeline, bids would be invited by May 15 and the contract would be awarded by March 31.

The original contractor for the project, Constructora Sanjose, was taken off the project for non-performance in December 2016. In the four years since the project started, it has recorded a 17% physical progress. In June 2017, CAAN again invited bids to restart the stalled project. It also broke up the project into four different packages.

Package 3 consists of building a parallel taxiway and international apron. After the completion of the project, TIA will be able to handle more than 5.85 million passengers annually and accommodate bigger aircraft.