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Nagidanda Airport not Necessary: Subcommittee

Kathmandu – The committee formed by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for recommendations to resolve the problems in the aviation sector has advised to not construct any domestic airport for five years

Nagidanda Airport not Necessary: Subcommittee

The subcommittee formed by the Labor and International Relations Committee of the parliament has concluded that the airport at Nagidanda of Kavre is not necessary.

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The subcommittee led by the former prime minister (PM) Madhav Kumar Nepal has recommended that scant state resources should not be wasted for the benefits of a few individuals. The subcommittee has deemed that another airport near the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) will not be needed as the TIA will become a hub for domestic flights once the Nijgadh International Airport comes into operation.

“We must not spend unnecessarily,” CPN lawmaker Nepal told reporters immediately after submitting the subcommittee’s report. “Every minister and leader is in a hurry to build an airport in one’s constituency. They do not care whether the airport is sustainable or not and is financially feasible or not. They run it for a couple of years and shut it down.”

The subcommittee has also expressed displeasure at the allocation of budget for the feasibility study for the airport in Nagidanda. “Why should feasibility study be conducted when an airport is not necessary there?” he asked. “They have a practice of sending Rs 500 million for the feasibility study, appoint a consultant and then bargain with them. This should not happen again.”

The government has allocated Rs 250 million for the feasibility study and land acquisition for the airport.
The project moved forward immediately after Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari assumed office has already been widely criticized.

The committee formed by Minister Adhikari recommended to the government to adopt alternative measures to reduce pressure on the TIA, but not construct an alternative airport. But the ministry did not make the report public after its recommendations were not in favor of the airport.
Minister Adhikari is determined to construct the airport arguing that it will not make a loss like other airports.

A pre-feasibility study had shown the airport with a runway of 600-1,200 meters can be built at a cost of over Rs 7 billion in five years.
But aviation experts have been pointing out that ATR and other bigger planes currently in operation for domestic flights cannot land in such a small runway. That runway can only be used by smaller planes operating flights to remote places and helicopters. Only the flights to Lukla, Tumlingtar and other eastern hilly districts can be shifted from Kathmandu to the airport.

State resources should not be wasted for the benefits of a few individuals, it says about airport proposed by Minister Adhikari
Source: Setopati

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