'Expedite TIA upgrading task'

By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Jan. 1 : Secretary at the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Maheshowor Neupane Sunday directed the officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to expedite the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) upgrading works.
Addressing a function organised to mark the 19th Anniversary of CAAN in the capital, Neupane said that the current problem of excess traffic at the TIA could be minimised significantly by completing the TIA upgrading project.
He said that the dream of attracting five million international tourists per year by 2030 would not be possible unless the country developed the required infrastructure in a revolutionary way.
The TIA currently has a capacity to cater to around 1.5 million tourists, he said.He said that the MoCTCA had given high priority to the development of the second international airport (SIA) at Nijgad and regional level airports in Bhairahawa and Pokhara.
He said that the modality of constructing the TIA should be finalised soon to initiate its construction works.
He said that the CAAN would be divided into two organisations to handle development and regulatory works separately.
Sanjiv Gautam, director general of CAAN, said that they were facing challenges to manage the fleet at the TIA due to the increase in air traffic.
He said that the CAAN would make discussion with airlines operators to settle down the fleet management problems.
He said that CAAN was able to remove the serious security concern (SSC) tag of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recently.
“Still we have to remove the domestic aviation sector from the black list of the European Commission,” he said, adding that CAAN was going to participate at a forum in the near future in order to remove the tag of the European Commission.
Pavitra Kumar Karki, president of Airlines Operators Associations Nepal (AoAN), said that the air traffic at the TIA had reached saturation point, therefore, CAAN should take a rational decision about air safety.
He said that airline operators were also losing their image due to the inability of the TIA to manage the air traffic.

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