Kathmandu Airport KTM to remain shut for 10 hours daily from Monday 1st Apr 2019

Kathmandu, March 29

Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal’s sole international airport, will remain shut for 10 hours per day from Monday, as its management embarks on the biggest maintenance work of the runway since its construction in 1975.

The construction work on the tarmac of TIA will continue from 10 pm to 8 am everyday for 45 days. This means Cathay Dragon, China Southern, Malaysia Airlines, Jet Airways and Qatar Airways will have to reschedule their flights, as they currently operate flights between 10 pm and 8 am. These airlines have already been given different time slots to conduct their flights, TIA General Manager Raj Kumar Chhetri said.

TIA sees around 400 flights, including 100 international flights, per day.

TIA’s runway was built in 1975. Runways of international airports, as per the international standard, should be refurbished with the use of new bitumen every 10 years. TIA, however, has never done that. This makes the latest maintenance work at the tarmac the biggest since its construction.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the aviation sector regulator, has roped in China National Aero Technology International Engineering Corporation to complete the runway and taxiway rehabilitation work. It signed an agreement with the Chinese company on November 5, 2018. The Chinese firm has agreed to complete the work for Rs 3.75 billion. The construction company has already started collecting necessary materials to renovate the runway and taxiway.

In the first phase, the Chinese company will blacktop 3000m runway. The company has said it would complete the work in 45 days, although the CAAN has given it a 70-day deadline. But it will take around 18 months to rehabilitate the taxiway.

News Source: https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/tribhuvan-international-airport-to-remain-shut-for-10-hours-daily-from-monday/