By CK Khanal
Kathmandu, June 11: Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has gained a new look when most improvement tasks meant to transform the sole international airport of the country into a boutique airport have been completed.
Beautification, improvement of interiors, improvement in infrastructure and installation of cultural sculptures representing Nepal have given a new look to the airport.
With the objective of converting TIA into a boutique airport, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation had devised a seven-point improvement plan last year as a preparation to celebrate 2020 as the Visit Nepal Year.
Most of the tasks except the construction of a canopy in front of the international terminal building have reached the end, said Raj Kumar Chhetri, spokesperson of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
The objective of converting the airport into a boutique facility is to provide a sophisticated and cultural look to the air passengers, he said.
Works of interiors in both international and domestic terminal are at the final stage, he said. Some interior decoration works on the ground floor of international terminal building and that of domestic terminal building are in progress, he said.
All other beautification works, installation of cultural sculpture and statues, have already been completed, he added.
He said that some materials made up of steel and aluminum have been replaced with wooden materials as per the requirement of boutique airport.
The government had provided around Rs 295 million for the transformation of TIA as a boutique airport, he said. Of the total budget, Rs 150 million was for the construction of canopy in front of the international terminal building.
Despite the difficult situation, the contractor of the canopy construction project has continued its works, said Anjana Bhatta, an engineer at TIA looking after the project.
“Though the lockdown has slowed down the pace of canopy construction work, we are concentrating our efforts to complete the project within the stipulated time,” she said.
The time given to the contractor of canopy will end in October, she said.
Besides, expansion of runway by 300 metres, construction of parking bay for two wide-body aircrafts, installation of flood lights and construction of a separate arrival walkway descending down to the taxi parking have also been completed.
– The Rising Nepal