Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) will get a new arrival hall, parking facility and office complex in April only — three months later than the scheduled date.
Officials say the project got delayed due to unavailability of construction materials for almost a month in June. Rasuwa KD Company, a joint venture of Rasuwa Construction Company and KD Group, is constructing the arrival hall, parking facility and office complex with an investment of Rs 500 million.
“Though the project was estimated to cost a total of Rs 420 million, the cost increased by Rs 80 million due to soaring prices of construction materials,” Deepak Malhotra, chairman of KD Group, said, adding that the projects got delayed due to unavailability of construction materials for nearly a month.
The project is being implemented under Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model. The developer will operate the arrival hall, parking facility and the office complex for 30 years and hand them over to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
Birendra Prasad Shrestha, acting general manager of TIA, said the new building with arrival hall and parking facility will have to come into operation within the next six months. “Few months ago, the project developer asked us eight more months to complete the project,” said Shrestha.
According to a TIA official, Rasuwa KD Company will pay Rs 7.5 million a year as rent. It will also pay five percent of its total revenue in the first five years as royalty fee. The royalty fee will increase by five percentage points every five years. The five-storied office complex will have an arrival hall and arrival car parking in the basement and the ground floor. The parking area will have the capacity to accommodate 500 four-wheelers at a time. Likewise, the office complex will have 60,000 sq ft of office spaces. The company plans to lease out the spaces to aviation related service providers like cargo and courier services, airlines, travel agencies, money changers and manpower companies, among others.
“Construction of basement and ground floor has already been completed. Similarly, most of the works of office complex have also been completed. We have started construction of arrival hall,” Malhotra said, adding that 80 percent of the work has already been completed. At present, TIA does not have a separate parking area for arrival and departure. The existing parking areas can accommodate around 200 four-wheelers at a time.
“People are facing problems due to single parking area for arrival and departure. Not only that, people waiting for the arrival of their friends and families have to stand outside as the arrival lobby has very few chairs,” said Malhotra adding that “The new facility will end these problems.”
The arrival hall will have different facilities like air conditioning, sofa, TV, Internet facility, coffee shop, books and gift stores, among others. Malhotra said that they will charge entry fee of Rs 50 per person.
Runway expansion work begins
Work on expansion of runway at Tribhuvan International airport (TIA) has begun.
Spanish company Sanjose, which won the global tender for runway expansion, has already started civil works, according to Birendra Prasad Shrestha, acting general manager of TIA. “Sanjose will formally begin its work from March,” he added.
The runway, which is 3,000 meters long, will be extended to the south by 300 meters. This is the first extension in runway since 1975 when TIA had expanded runway by 1,000 meters.
“We have asked the company to complete runway expansion by the end of 2015 so that it can be operated from the beginning of 2016,” said Shrestha. “We can then operate the airport round the clock.”
Currently, the runway handles an average of 250 flights on a daily basis. In peak season, from September to November, it handles around 400 flights a day.