KATHMANDU, April 19:Toilets at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) were in bad shape when Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Dil Nath Giri made an observation visit of the only international airport in the country on Tuesday.
Flushes weren’t working, toilets lacked soap, and disposable tea cups and tissue paper were all over the floor.
“I also found that the airport authority hastily cleaned some parts of the airport for my visit. Cleaning and sanitation should be a continuous process,” Giri said in a media briefing.
He also said there was a need to manage airport taxi and fix taxi fare so that tourists do not face hassle at the hands of taxi drivers. “Similarly, there is a need to mobilize manpower to help tourists right after they land at the airport till they leave the airport terminal,” he added.
In his 12-point direction, Giri has told the TIA management to hire 25 male and equal number of females having good command in English language to help tourists. He was also for shifting helipad to the south of the airport so that more aircraft can be accommodated in the parking bay. Similarly, Giri also asked the TIA management to ease visa fee collection process and make sure that contracts signed with shop operators in the terminals are thoroughly implemented.
Giri also directed the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) to make its flights punctual.
“Domestic airlines having their operational base out of Kathmandu should not be allowed to park their aircraft in TIA,” the minister added.
TIA officials say it is one of the reasons causing air traffic congestion in Kathmandu.
He also directed TIA officials to operate the airport in three shifts to facilitate easy take off and landing.
“Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) should start feasibility study to build an airstrip in Thulichaur of Kavrepalchowk district for all domestic flights to hilly districts. It will free more landing and takeoff slots for international airlines,” Giri added.
Devananda Upadhyaya, general manager of TIA, briefed Giri about reform works being carried out at TIA.