Kathmandu: A tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed here today for upgrading the Biratnagar Airport into an international standard airport.
The political parties, industrialists and businessmen and tourism entrepreneurs had been calling for developing the oldest airport of the eastern region into a regional or international level airport since long back.
Only domestic flights are operated to and from this airport at present and if it is upgraded to an international standard airport, direct flights can be conducted from here to Bangladesh, various states of India, Bhutan and Sikkim.
The State-1 government, the Biratnagar Metropolitan City and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) signed the MoU to this effect today. Secretary at the State 1 government’s Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forests and Environment, Meghnath Kafle, CAAN Director General Rajan Pokharel and Chief administrative Officer of Biratnagar Metropolitan City, Indramani Pokharel signed on the MoU on behalf their respective institutions.
As per the MoU the Biratnagar Airport will be expanded and developed to upgrade it to international standard airport. The existing runway will be expanded to 3,000 metres and other infrastructures and facilities would be constructed.
The Government of Nepal will bear 50 per cent, the State-1 government 40 per cent and the Biratnagar Metropolitan City 10 per cent of the cost of the Biratnagar Airport Upgrading Project. Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai inaugurated the MoU signing programme.
On the occasion, he said Nepal’s federalism is based on cooperation and collaboration. “All the three-level governments are independent to speed up the nation’s development and upgrading Biratnagar Airport would help develop it into an international airport,” he said.
The Minister said it will become the hub for both domestic and international flights following its development. He also informed that the construction of the Pokhara Regional International Airport and the Gautam Buddha International Airport has reached the final stages (RSS).
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Nepal Airlines has 15 flights a week a…