Gautam Buddha International Airport preparing for test operation
July 24, 2021 03:38 PM NPT
SIDDHARTHANAGAR, July 24: The construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport has reached the final stage and the authorities are preparing for its test operation.
Preparations have been made for test operation after the completion of technical tasks. According to Gautam Buddha International Airport project chief Prabesh Adhikari, the tasks related to the outer structure of the airport have been completed but the tasks related to the installment of security screening equipment inside the airport are yet to be done.
"We are making preparations for a calibration flight," Adhikari said. Calibration flight means examining whether the information exchange between airport ground and aircraft is properly maintained. For this, a 5-7 seater flight will make the flights at the airport. In course of the flights, the antenna, single receive sighting, communications and all other means of information circular are tested.
Other aircraft will start to take off and land once all the signals and information are properly managed during the calibration flight.
A memorandum of understanding was signed with Air Thai for calibration flights at the Gautam Buddha Airport. The timing of the test operation relies on Air Thai. It seems that the test flight will be deferred for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to project sources, Rs 6 billion and 820 million has been spent on the construction of the airport so far. Meanwhile, the task of providing compensation for the land acquired for expanding the project to the landowners is near completion as well. So far, Rs 22.40 billion has been given as compensation, Project chief Adhikari said.
The airport occupies 10,500 ropanis of land including the land acquired for the expansion project. It is said the physical infrastructures of the airport can handle international flights and passenger movement for the coming 50 years. The construction of the cargo building has reached the last stage as well. However, installation of radar and construction of a hangar, a Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) depot, a helipad, catering, another parking lot and another terminal building remains.
The airport is now the largest airport in the country in terms of area. As per the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)'s Code 4E, airplanes similar to Boeing 777 and Airbus 330 can easily take off and land at the airport which has a 3,000 meters long runway. It is expected that the operation of this airport will contribute to increasing the number of tourists in the country. Even Indian citizens from Lucknow and Gorakhpur can use this airport for their international travel since it is located near the Nepal-India border.