KATHMANDU, May 30: The government has allocated Rs 19.42 billion for the construction and upgradation of international airports in Nepal.
Unveiling the budget for fiscal year 2020/21, Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada on Thursday stated, “The government has managed the required amount to bring Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) into operation and construct the second terminal building along with other infrastructures on the airport premises.”
The amount will be used to upgrade Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the international terminal building of TIA and also complete the construction of Pokhara Regional International Airport. Both GBIA and Pokhara airport have gained significant progress and are expected to come into operation soon. As national pride projects, the government has been pressing for the timely completion of these projects.
The government has prioritized the construction of quality air infrastructures for safe, regular and credible air services in the upcoming FY 2020/21.
The allocated budget will also be used for shifting the settlements on the land allocated for Nijgadh International Airport and construction of a circuit on its premises.
It has allocated a budget for the expansion of inter-provincial air connectivity and international air service. Surkhet and Bharatpur Airports will be upgraded as provincial airports to expand inter-provincial air connectivity, and construction of new terminals in Biratnagar and Nepalgunj and construction of domestic airports at Narayanpur of Dang and Chuhandada of Terhathum and other places will be started this year.
The government has also managed to allocate budget to improve and upgrade Chandragadhi, Dhangadhi and Janakpur airports. The amount will be used to upgrade and expand trunk route airports and make them capable of operating night flights.
“Formulation of an aviation policy will take place that can fulfill the national need in the aviation sector, and address global innovation, development of technology and assure air safety,” Khatiwada added.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) will be restructured. It will be split into two bodies - one for regulation of the aviation sector and the other for the operationalization of airports.