Agreement on reopening Balewa Airport after 26 yrs

Published On: January 15, 2018 02:12 PM NPT

BAGLUNG, Jan 15: Balewa Airport based in Baglung Municipality-14 in Baglung is to reopen after 26 years. A tri-party agreement to this regard was reached Sunday. 

As per the agreement reached among the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), two airlines companies and the Baglung Municipality, flights here will be operated twice a week by the third week of March. National flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation and the Tara Air will make one flight each in a week. 

The Baglung Municipality is to contribute to the promotion of companies' business while the CAAN will take up the responsibility for restoring the airport and management of equipments and human resources, according to Municipality mayor Janakraj Poudel. 

A technical team is arriving here within a week for study and remaining works will be carried out on the basis of a report to be given by such team. Works relating to the upgradation of an access road to the airport is going on in full swing, as stated by Poudel. 

There is no blacktopped road to reach the airport that lies in eight kilometres away from the district headquarters. People have no option to using a gravel road along the Kaligandaki Corridor to reach the airport which was constructed in 2022 BS. It was closed with the construction of the Baglung-Pokhara road in the 2048 BS. 

Though there were tremendous efforts in the past to resume the airport, it had not been possible due to various reasons, said Baglung's former lawmaker Prakash Sharma Poudel. Four years ago, the then Education Minister Dinanath Sharma and Tourism Minister Lokendra Bista had landed in the airport with the commitments to operating the airport regularly. The Baglung folks had frequently got assurances of its operation from the government level. The agreement has brought cheers among the Baglung folks. It takes a 13- minute flight from Pokhara to reach Balewa. 

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