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New international airport in Nepal to start construction

Construction of Pokhara International Airport in Kaski district of central Nepal, is all set to begin from this weekend, a senior Nepali official said.

Chief of the Pokhara International Airport Project Pradip Adhikari said on Thursday that the process of contractor mobilization for the construction has begun, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We are in the process of providing financial resources to the contractor,” he said.

The airport, being developed with the Chinese assistance will be constructed in the country’s premier tourist city Pokhara. It is one of the three new international airports planned in the Himalayan country.

Currently, Nepal has only operating the sole international airport Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu which is overcrowded, often forcing the airlines to wait up to 45 minutes for landing particularly during the tourist season.

China Export-Import Bank has pledged a soft loan of $215.96 million for the construction of the project.

“The full-fledged ground works will begin after the monsoon is over,” Adhikari said.

China CAMC Engineering co. Ltd won the construction contract in May 2014 to construct the project under the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) model.

“The construction of international airport in the country’s key tourist hub will help increase the tourist arrivals many folds,” said Adhikari.

Nepal has felt the urgent need for development of more international airports for the emergency situation like the deadly earthquake in April 2015 and to manage the increasing international air travelers.

 

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