Nepal will soon get a second airport. The new airport will be named Gautam Buddha International Airport, which will commence operations on May 26, 2022, on the birth date of Lord Buddha. It is located in the Bhairahawa region of Western Nepal, and the construction is under progress. Currently, Nepal has only one airport Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
“All international flights can take off and land at the Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) from May 26, the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha,” Prem Ale, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, said while inspecting the progress of Nepal’s new airport.
Nepal’s new Gautam Buddha International Airport would also solve the issues of not having an emergency landing space for flights flying in the skies of Nepal. At present, there is no alternative arrangement to return to Tribhuvan International Airport for an emergency landing.
When a technical problem occurs for an aircraft flying in the Nepali sky, it is diverted to Kathmandu for an emergency landing. Nepal’s new airport is built in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) standards for emergency landings. It will have emergency landing facilities with foam and fire vehicles. Thus, if an aircraft cannot land in Kathmandu due to adverse weather, it can always land in Nepal’s Gautam Buddha International Airport.
AeroThai to check GBIA’s technical soundness
A team of experts from Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (AeroThai) has arrived at Nepal’s second airport and conducted the mechanical test flight at the new airport. The test will determine the technical readiness. The team will fly the calibration flight and see if the flight equipment is working as per the required standards. The calibration and test flight by AeroThai is expected to be carried out within a span of one month.
“A team of AeroThai experts is working to bring the airport into operation on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti,” quoted a few unnamed airport officials. The Chinese company Northwest Civil Aviation Construction Group has already completed the construction works of Gautam Buddha International Airport.
Meanwhile, reports from the Meteorological Forecasting Division say that the country will witness a partial impact from Westerly wind, likely to trigger a light to moderate thunder and snowfall. This could impact Nepal’s aviation operations.