Kathmandu, April 19,2018 : The only International Airport of Nepal, Tribhuvan International Airport(TIA), is all set to operate 21 hours a day to handle a growth in flights and provide incentives to air traffic controllers(ATCs) and other staff as compensation for the increased workload.
The changes are set to come into implementation after May 21.The Airport has been in operation for 18 hours and 30 minutes till date. The move was set and suggested to address the congestion at the Airport due to increased number of flights with the arrival of summer. The Airport handles almost 500 flights a day during the peak tourist seasons during March-May and September-November.
The move however, is set to make things easy at the airport starting the next peak tourist season only as the flight plans concentrated during the peak hour this summer have already been approved during the day. Airlines seeking to increase number of flights and the ones seeking commence their services shall be offered slots after 5pm and during the night, according to Rajkumar Chhetri, general manager of the TIA. Some of the airlines are reportedly found to have shown interest to operate during the night time as they would not have to waste hours waiting in the sky for landing .
The Airport was supposed to run 24 hours a day during the tourism year 2011 but the only runway at the Airport then conceded to the pressure of the increased weight and started growing cracks forcing the Civil Aviaton Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to decide on decreasing the operation hours and focusing on the maintenance of the runway. There is a ban on aircrafts weighing more than 196 tonnes to land in the airport that is still in place till date.