Government plans to build a fourth international airport in Nijgadh after two years
After Kathmandu, Bhairahawa, and Pokhara, the government is planning to build the fourth international airport in Nijgadh. Presenting the policy and program for the coming fiscal year in the parliament on Tuesday, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari said that an international airport would be constructed in Nijgadh from the fiscal year 2080/81.
The estimated cost to build the Nijgadh International Airport is $6.7 billion. The estimation was presented in 2018. Imagine the cost now!
The civil aviation authority of Nepal (CAAN) has debts totaling a staggering Rs 55 billion. The biggest loan of Rs22 billion was taken from China to build Pokhara International Airport.
According to Pokhara airport agreement, the loan will be REPAID by the airport itself and not with funds from other airports. Officials say it will take decades to repay the loan taken for Pokhara airport, which has a payback period of 20 years including a grace period of seven years.
Failed airports around the world:
• The world has many useless, recklessly planned abandoned airports. Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, a USD 209 million project, was meant to be the country’s second international airport. Few airlines thought its location made sense when it opened in 2013, but they gamely tried it for a few months before stopping. Because of massive losses, it had to stop in 2015. Once it has been called, “The world’s emptiest international airport” by Forbes.
• In Canada, Mirabel International Airport opened in 1975 as the world’s biggest airport. It closed after two decades of dismal figures; it was meant to handle over 65 lakh passengers annually, but once hit a high point of 8 lakh.
Research and development:
It seems like our government has not done a proper research in this regard. $6.7 Billion is no joke for a small country like Nepal. Bhairahawa & Pokhara international airport are yet to be tested. TIA needs proper security and management. So, at this point it’s a reckless plan to build another extravagant international airport.
What do you think about building another international airport in the country?
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