The Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project will enhance safety and capacity at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu and three remote domestic airports--Lukla, Rara, and Simikot. TIA's airfield side infrastructure will be reconfigured and upgraded to international safety standards, including provision or construction of (i) about 1,400 meters (m) of new main taxiways and link taxiways, (ii) runway end safety area and extension, (iii) runway approach lights, (iv) an instrument landing system localizer, (v) an uninterrupted power supply system for essential airfield and security area lights, (vi) air traffic communication equipment,(vii) additional international and domestic aircraft parking apron area, and (viii) upgrading of rescue and fire fighting system. TIA's terminal infrastructure will be rehabilitated with the existing international terminal refurnished and upgraded, and a new temporary domestic terminal of about 10,000 square meters (m2) constructed. Basic safety improvements at the three remote domestic airports include a visual approach guidance system and abbreviated precision approach path indicator at Lukla airport, and runway threshold identifiers and runway end lights, air traffic control equipment, and meteorological equipment at Simikot and Rara airports.
The Project will also improve overall sector management by implementing a 3-year capacity development program for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). CAAN's organizational and management capacity will be strengthened by updating the existing regulations, developing a strategy to adapt the regulatory framework based on international standards, improving human resources development, upgrading the financial and management information system, implementing a systematic maintenance program, and identifying viable opportunities for private sector participation for future airport infrastructure development and maintenance.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Due to the challenging terrain in Nepal, air transport is an important part of the country's overall transport system, providing access to many remote towns and villages in the mountainous areas. Nepal's natural landscape and cultural heritage offer tourism development potential. A safe and reliable air transport system is vital to achieving the Government's tourism development targets, and therefore receiving the economic benefits. TIA is the country's only international airport and safety concerns urgently need to be addressed. TIA's airside facilities, runways, taxiways, apron, and communication navigation surveillance equipment are not fully compliant with international safety standards and recommended practices. The Project will provide improvements to address the current safety issues and capacity constraints.
The domestic airports in Lukla, Rara, and Simikot serve remote areas that are otherwise inaccessible by road, and air transport is an essential mode of communications for both the local communities and tourists. These airports will support tourism development and need urgent rehabilitation and upgrading. The Project will upgrade and improve communication equipment, visual approach aids, and weather equipment.
CAAN is responsible for the administration of civil aviation in Nepal and is essentially functioning well. However, further institutional enhancement, especially in its operational efficiency and management capacity, is necessary to effectively handle the expected demand of greater air transport traffic in the medium term. Overall, the Project is to address major factors hindering the future growth of the air transport subsector by improving safety to international standards, easing capacity constraints, and enhancing CAAN's organizational effectiveness.