KATHMANDU, Aug 27: The government has withdrawn its plan to build an alternative domestic airport in Kavrepalanchowk district.
The government, in its budget for the fiscal year 2019/20, had proposed a plan to build a domestic airport in near the Kathmandu Valley as an alternative to Tribhuvan International Airport citing traffic congestion at the only international airport in the country. Last May, Late Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari, Information and Communication Minister Gokul Baskota, federal lawmakers, provincial members and locals of Kavre had held a discussion on the feasibility and decided to build a domestic airport in Thulichaur near Dhulikhel or Nagidada near Banepa. The plan was to shift the domestic flights in the new airport, which would have a 1,200-meter runway.
However, no final decision had been taken.
The plan to build a domestic airport within four years was also included in the budget 2018/19. But, the International Relations Committee had directed the government to withdraw its plan arguing there was no need to build an airport near the Kathmandu Valley.
Instead, new Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Yogesh Bhattarai is planning to upgrade the existing Ramechhap airport, said an official at the ministry.
The new plan to upgrade the Ramechhap airport has “closed the chapter of the Karve domestic airport” for now.
According to Minister Bhattarai’s plan, Ramechhap could be the domestic alternative to the TIA if upgraded. Ramechhap airport has a 518-meter long runway.