Kathmandu, June 9
Nepal’s second international airport, the Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa, near Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is ready for a test flight.
Officials, however, say they are uncertain about the schedule for such calibration flights owing to the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are focusing on conducting such flights by September or October,” Praveen Neupane, a senior official of the project, says, “That will be the completion of the construction work.”
Neupane, however, maintains it will take a couple of more months to begin regular commercial flights from and to the airport as the government has to establish a route that will be approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Two Chinese and Thai companies are constructing the airport.
The project has been listed as the government’s national pride project. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) had earlier planned to bring it into operation by the beginning of 2021.