POKHARA: Pokhara Regional International Airport being developed by Chinese construction company CAMCE was handed over to Nepal on Saturday.
The airport was handed over to Nepal by organising separate programmes in Kathmandu and Pokhara Airport this evening on the occasion of the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Nepal visit. In Kathmandu, Chinese Minister Wang handed over a symbolic key to his Nepali counterpart Narayan Khadka in the presence of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Likewise, in Pokhara, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale felicitated Chairman of CAMCE Lu Yan for completing the construction of the airport.
Project Chief of the Pokhara Regional International Airport, Binesh Munakarmi, said, the handover ceremony was organised after the completion of major construction works and installation. The airport was constructed with a concessional loan of Rs 22 billion and grant assistance from EXIM Bank of China.
About 93% of the physical work has been done and the construction company would continue its works until the completion of the project.
So far, runway, terminal building, air traffic control building, taxiway and other main works have been completed. The project which was estimated to complete by July 10, 2021, was extended for a year due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
On the occasion, Minister Ale said the airport will be brought into operation soon. He claimed the government would run the airport within six months after completing all necessary preparations. “Today’s programme has imparted a message that construction of the Pokhara airport has completed. It has also added impetus to the local entrepreneurs and business fraternity to spur their investment in the tourism sector here, ” Minister Ale said.
The tourism minister called for the investors to spur their investment in paragliding, rafting and golf targeting domestic and international tourists following the completion of airport construction works.
He also shared that the government was doing groundwork to announce Pokhara as the tourism capital.
General Manager at Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Pradeep Adhikari, said though the main part of the airport construction was completed some problems are yet to be fixed.