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Kathmandu to get its first aviation museum by July

Photograph: Captain Bed Upreti, Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, Caan Deputy Director General Rajan Pokhrel and Emin Mohammed, former senior technician of Turkish Airlines, attend a press meet in Kathmandu on Saturday.

Kathmandu, March 12, 2017: After thunderous success of an aircraft museum in Dhangadi, Bed Upreti Trust has announced it will launch second such museum in Sinamangal, Kathmandu, by July.

For operating the museum, the trust has purchased a decommissioned Airbus A330 aircraft of Turkish Airlines that had crashed landed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in March 2015.

The trust has signed an agreement with Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) to lease the latter’s land plot at Sinamangal. A Caan board meeting held on January 16 had given go-ahead to its management to lease out the 9,000sqm land plot to the trust for 10 years. The trust will pay Rs300,000 per month in rental charge. The trust is making an investment of Rs50 million for setting up the museum.

“The aircraft has been transported to the museum’s site from TIA,” Captain Bed Upreti, the promoter of the trust said, addressing a press meet here on Saturday. “The museum will not only serve as a tourism destination, but also help conduct several research tasks, including pilot training, among others.”

The trust is currently working on interior and decoration of the aircraft. The cockpit will be set up in such a way it will give visitors real feel, it said.

Moreover, visitors will also be able to listen to cockpit conversation between the pilot and Air Traffic Control (ATC). The process of developing a park around the aircraft too will also begin soon, it added.

The aircraft’s cargo hold will be converted into a hall which will be used for Crew Resources Management Training for pilots working in domestic airlines.
“The museum has already started serving as a knowledge destination. Students from several engineering colleges have been visiting the construction site  to gather information regarding an aircraft,” Upreti said.

Former Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Jiwan Bahadur Shahi expressed happiness over the setting up of the aviation museum.

“A large section of people in Nepal have a dream of boarding an aircraft. They can visit the museum and take feel of a wide-body aircraft,” Shahi said.

On Thursday, Shahi’s portfolio in the Cabinet was changed from Tourism Minister to the Minister of Water Supply and Sanitation.

Expressing his disagreement over the controversy regarding the decision taken by the Caan board to lease out the land plot to the trust without government approval, Shahi said: “Caan president has the right to take such decisions. I took such a decision to expedite the project construction,” he said, adding a simulator can be added on the premises within a near future for enhancing training facility.