Tribhuvan International Airport will be closed everyday from 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. from Sunday to facilitate the rehabilitation of the taxiway. The seven hour closure will continue until the end of the year, and come January 2020, the airport will be open for 24 hours, as per airport officials.
The decision comes two months after the completion of the airport’s runway rehabilitation. The rehabilitation was a huge reconstruction effort – a new layer of asphalt was added over the entire 3050 m stretch of the airport’s cracked and worn-out runway. TIA’s runway, constructed in 1985, had never seen a complete makeover – earlier cracks would simply be patched in the affected area, making the landing ‘very bumpy’.
For the runway rehabilitation, the airport had to be closed ten hours every day and was carried out within the months of March to June. Since June 30, after the runway was repaired, the airport was operational for 21 hours. The taxi way too, has never been reconstructed since its construction. It runs parallel to the runway and is an around 2000 metres.
The runway and taxiway of Tribhuvan International Airport are being renovated in a Rs3.78-billion project and is being done by China’s state-owned enterprise China National Aero Technology International Engineering Corporation.
The reconstruction, renovation and rehabilitation efforts are all a part of the government’s efforts to equip the airport for Visit Nepal 2020. The government led tourism campaign aims to welcome 2 million visitors within the year – much of the targeted visitors will by flying via TIA, and its current infrastructure is not equipped to handle the huge passenger inflow/outflow.
The airport’s interior is also receiving a major face-lift – recently Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Minister directed authorities to upgrade Tribhuvan International Airport into a ’boutique airport’. Suggesting a myriad of changes, he asked the beautification of the airport be aimed at making the airport an appropriate reflection of Nepal – one that reflects the culture and beauty of Nepal.