30 September, Pokhara: Preparations are underway to bring Pokhara Regional Airport into operation from January 1. The task force formed to prepare for the transfer and operation of the airport has recommended the Civil Aviation Authority to open the flight from January 1, said Bikram Gautam, coordinator of the task force. Gautam, who is also the chief of Pokhara Airport, said that the task force had recommended starting only domestic flights at the beginning and international flights only after April.

He also said that an ambitious plan has been put forward to operate the airport within the next three months.” I have recommended starting the flight from January 1, 2022. At least then domestic flights should be operated from this airport, ”said Gautam

Gautam informed the team including the Gandaki Chief Minister who visited Pokhara Regional Airport on Wednesday that they are preparing to operate domestic flights and also start external flights within a year.”Hopefully, we will be able to operate international flights with security and facilities of international standards,” he said.

The project says that Rithepani Danda in the eastern part is the main problem for international standard flights. The hill could not be cut down as the Survey Office and the Forest Office did not prepare the tree data for the felling of the hill.

Similarly, the project has been warning that there will be ‘Bird Hazard’ in future flights as the Pokhara Metropolitan City has not found an alternative to the sanitary landfill site near the airport under construction.

Gautam said that starting domestic flights earlier would also facilitate international flight preparations and would not hamper the construction of the airport.‘Domestic flights don’t even bother to cross the Rithepani hill. It means that the remaining problems can be solved and we can move forward, ”said Gautam

He said that the airport will be operated keeping in view the three factors of ‘safety, security, and facility.

Gautam said that he is in constant discussions with the domestic and international airlines for the operation of the airport. He said that they are studying ‘Air Route’ to make the flight from Pokhara Regional Airport shorter and cheaper.

‘We have Bhairahawa, Birgunj, Simara and also one route from China and the other to Paro (Bhutan). It would be better to add an air route from Bhairahawa to reduce flight time. However, the Bhairahawa route so far is only an outgoing route, not an incoming route, ‘said Gautam.‘In this way, the main route to connect more from abroad is the Simara route

He said that the airport is being built according to the standards of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). At the airport, which can accommodate 11 aircraft, the ‘Green Buddy’ aircraft will be able to fly.‘Long-distance aircraft cannot come because of fuel. Besides, there is no problem for medium distance aircraft to come here, ”said Gautam.

He said that the Civil Aviation Authority is preparing to operate 48 domestic and six international flights daily from the airport

Image:युवराज श्रेष्ठ