Bhutan : Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project

Sovereign Project | 44239-013

The project is to improve infrastructure for the Bumthang, Gelephu, and Yonphula domestic airports. It aims to expand initial developments undertaken by the Government of Bhutan at these airports. The project is to strengthen safety and security, and enhance capacity, including priority needs for securing the airport perimeter; expanding terminal space, air craft parking apron, and taxiway; improving runways; and installing aeronautical communication and navigation aid equipment. These improvements are targeted to meet the requirements of current and anticipated aviation activities in the country, and help continue the record of safety. Overall, it will support the government's plan to develop a safe, reliable, and efficient air transport system connecting urban and rural centers to help overcome the current limitations of road transport and improve accessibility to less-developed regions of the country.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Vico Talledo, Rocio
    Sectors Group
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    Bhutan
  • Modality
  • Sector
    • Transport

Related Projects

Project Name Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project
Project Number 44239-013
Country / Economy Bhutan
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0295-BHU: Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project
Asian Development Fund US$ 6.92 million
Grant 0484-BHU: Air Transport Connectivity and Enhancement Project - Additional Financing
Asian Development Fund US$ 4.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Transport / Air transport

Gender No gender elements
Description The project is to improve infrastructure for the Bumthang, Gelephu, and Yonphula domestic airports. It aims to expand initial developments undertaken by the Government of Bhutan at these airports. The project is to strengthen safety and security, and enhance capacity, including priority needs for securing the airport perimeter; expanding terminal space, air craft parking apron, and taxiway; improving runways; and installing aeronautical communication and navigation aid equipment. These improvements are targeted to meet the requirements of current and anticipated aviation activities in the country, and help continue the record of safety. Overall, it will support the government's plan to develop a safe, reliable, and efficient air transport system connecting urban and rural centers to help overcome the current limitations of road transport and improve accessibility to less-developed regions of the country. This will help facilitate greater and more equitable coverage of potential benefits from tourism growth, stimulate private sector development, and generate employment opportunities for the poor.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Paro International Airport (PIA), Bhutan's only operating airport until recently and still the only one providing international air access, is located near the capital city of Thimphu in the western region. Due to the lack of domestic air connectivity, other regions of the country - particularly in the center, south, and, east - have limited access to regional and global markets. The tourism industry, for instance, a substantial economic contributor, is much better developed in the west compared with other regions. This imbalance in accessibility - to opportunity, enterprise, markets, and services - has been an obstacle to achieving broad-based economic growth, which is one of the government's major development goals.

In view of the anticipated increase in aircraft movements and passenger volume, current deficiencies must be addressed, and initial developments undertaken by the government at the three domestic airports expanded to strengthen safety and security, and enhance capacity. The project will include (i) improving air operation safety by providing required air rescue and firefighting system facilities, aeronautical communication and navigation, and runway drainage; (ii) strengthening security with an airport cordon around the perimeter; and (iii) expanding capacity for terminal space, aircraft parking apron, and taxiway. The improvements were prioritized based on development needs identified in updated master plans for the three airports, projected traffic forecasts in terms of peak hour aircraft movements and passenger volume, as well as updated assessment of current developments and priorities for air transport in the country. By improving safety, security, and capacity at the three domestic airports, the project will help ensure operation of aircrafts with adequate capacity for continued passenger traffic growth and improved service and safety.

The project and its outcome is consistent with the strategic objective set out in the interim country partnership strategy, 2012-2013: to assist the government in achieving broad-based economic growth. It will enhance the country's air transport connectivity, help improve access to regional and global markets throughout the country, and support tourism growth in less-developed regions. The project is included in the Bhutan country operations business plan, 2012-2014.

Impact

Air transport connectivity improved

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

Safety, security, and capacity at four domestic airports in Bumthang, Gelephu, Paro, and Yonphula improved

Progress Toward Outcome Outcome substantially completed; improvement of service level in progress, all outputs completed, end of defect liability period on 31 Dec 2023.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Infrastructure at four domestic airports in Bumthang, Gelephu, Paro and Yonphula improved

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Bumthang Airport: Works completed in 2015 for perimeter security fence, new access road, apron and taxiway, and car park; asphalt overlay not done due to funding shortage (significant funds allocated to Yonphula); terminal building substantially completed

Gelephu Airport: All works completed in April 2015: installation of perimeter security fence, runway drainage and flood protection work, and a terminal building with basic passenger facilities; aviation security staff quarters operational; site development works completed using RGOB funds

Original scope of four parking management systems completed in 10 Oct 2021; additional two systems completed on 10 Dec 2021

Yonphula Airport: All works completed by Feb 2021; removal of hills, vehicle procured, and new runway constructed; lake dredging works (desilting) completed with RGOB funds in May 2020

Geographical Location Bathpalathang Airport, Gelephu Airport, Yongphulla Airport
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects As the works and installation of equipment for the project will be improvements within the boundaries of existing airport facilities already developed by the government, the anticipated environmental impacts are low. Therefore, the project is classified category B. In accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009), necessary due diligence of the environment impacts for the existing facilities previously developed by the government has been carried out. In this respect, the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) includes a section on the review of environmental impacts and mitigation measures taken during construction of the existing facilities, as well as recommendations for continued and improved actions during the implementation of additional improvements under the project. Anticipated environmental impacts include occupational health and safety issues, generation of dust and noise and drainage problems. These can be addressed during the detailed design and construction phase through appropriate design and mitigation measures recommended in the environment management plan. Typically for airport projects, the main long-term impact is the generation of noise, vibration, and air pollution during operations. In addition to complying with applicable international standards, appropriate landscaping, and greenbelt development in each of the airport area has been recommended to help minimize the impacts. DOAT needs to further strengthen overall institutional capacity, including the area of environment safeguards. While needs are assessed, DOAT Project Director will serve as the overall environment safeguard coordinator for the project. The project coordinator for each airport will serve as the site-level focal point for environment safeguards. The design and supervision consultant team will include an environment specialist for updating the EMP and monitoring contractors compliance. During implementation, training, and coordination workshops on environment safeguards and EMP implementation will be conducted for DOAT, consultants, and contractors. Annually, environmental monitoring reports will be prepared and submitted to ADB for disclosure on the ADB website, as required by the ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) for environment category B projects. As required by ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009), the IEE report has been disclosed.
Involuntary Resettlement The project has been reclassified as category B in accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). Acquisition of private land from one household totalling 0.67 acres encompassing 100% of the total plot size will be required for the Gelaphu subproject. One Resettlement Plan has been prepared in accordance to government and ADB policy. The affected household is entitled to a fair compensation and that they are given the option of choosing substitute land replacement or cash payment or both as compensation. In this case, the affected household has opted for land for land substitution located within the same block (geog) and of the same size.
Indigenous Peoples No impact on indigenous people is envisaged as there will be no physical or economic displacement. Therefore, the project is classified category C.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design

Consultations with communities residing in and around the airport sites have been carried out, and the details of consultations, feedback received, requirements for further consultation and grievance redress mechanism have been included in the IEE report.

During Project Implementation The EA, ADB and consultants continue to hold consultations with communities around the project sites to ensure that the Project's objectives are realized.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services All consultants was recruited according to ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants.
Procurement All procurement of goods and works are being undertaken in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines.
Responsible ADB Officer Vico Talledo, Rocio
Responsible ADB Department Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division Transport Sector Office (SG-TRA)
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Information and Communications
Timetable
Concept Clearance 05 Nov 2010
Fact Finding 27 Jan 2012 to 11 Feb 2012
MRM -
Approval 21 Jun 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 20 Dec 2023

Grant 0295-BHU

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
21 Jun 2012 06 Aug 2012 20 Aug 2012 31 Dec 2016 31 Dec 2017 21 Dec 2018
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 7.60 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 6.92 05 Jan 2024 6.92 0.00 100%
Counterpart 0.68 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 05 Jan 2024 6.92 0.00 100%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Grant 0484-BHU

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Jun 2016 29 Sep 2016 16 Dec 2016 31 Dec 2020 31 Dec 2022 -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 4.42 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 4.00 05 Jan 2024 3.98 0.00 99%
Counterpart 0.42 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 05 Jan 2024 3.97 0.00 99%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Title Document Type Document Date
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2021-June 2022) Audited Project Financial Statements Dec 2022
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2020-June 2021) Audited Project Financial Statements Dec 2021
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2019-June 2020) Audited Project Financial Statements Jun 2021
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2018-June 2019) Audited Project Financial Statements Nov 2019
Amendment to the Grant Agreement for Grant 0484-BHU: Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing Grant Agreement Oct 2019
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Audited Project Financial Statements (1 July 2017-30 June 2018) Audited Project Financial Statements Aug 2019
Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2017-June 2018) Audited Project Financial Statements Nov 2018
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2016-June 2017) Audited Project Financial Statements Oct 2017
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2015–June 2016) Audited Project Financial Statements Dec 2016
Grant Agreement (Special Operations) for Grant 0484-BHU: Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing Grant Agreement Sep 2016
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Report and Recommendation of the President Reports and Recommendations of the President Jun 2016
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Project Administration Manual Project/Program Administration Manual May 2016
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2014–June 2015) Audited Project Financial Statements Mar 2016
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Mar 2016
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Audited Project Financial Statements (1 July 2013–30 June 2014) Audited Project Financial Statements Mar 2015
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Audited Project Financial Statements (July 2012-June 2013) Audited Project Financial Statements May 2014
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Project Data Sheet (Dzongkha Translation) Translated PDS Jan 2013
Grant Agreement (Special Operations) for Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project Grant Agreement Aug 2012
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project Procurement Plans Jul 2012
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project Reports and Recommendations of the President May 2012
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project Project/Program Administration Manual May 2012

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Title Document Type Document Date
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Environmental and Social Monitoring Report (December 2022) Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Dec 2022
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Bumthang Domestic Airport (Car Parking Extension and Apron Access Construction) Environmental Management Plan Environmental Management Plans Aug 2022
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Final Environmental and Social Monitoring Report (November 2021) Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Nov 2021
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Environmental and Social Monitoring Report (November 2021) Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Nov 2021
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Bumthang Domestic Airport Environmental Management Plan Environmental Management Plans Nov 2020
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Paro International Airport Environmental Management Plan Environmental Management Plans Nov 2020
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Yonphula Domestic Airport Environmental Management Plan Environmental Management Plans Nov 2020
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Environment and Social Monitoring Report (March 2020) Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Mar 2020
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Environmental and Social Monitoring Report (August 2019) Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Aug 2019
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Environment and Social Monitoring Report (August 2018) Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Aug 2018
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Initial Environmental Examination Initial Environmental Examination Mar 2016
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Environment and Social Safeguards Compliance Report Environment and Social Compliance Audit Reports Mar 2016
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Yonphula Airport Improvement Safeguards Monitoring Report Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Oct 2015
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Bumthang Airport Improvement Safeguards Monitoring Report Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports May 2015
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Gelephu Airport Improvement Safeguards Monitoring Report Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Jan 2015
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project: Gelephu New Terminal Resettlement Plan Resettlement Plans Jul 2014
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project Environmental Assessment and Measures Mar 2012

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


Related Publications

None currently available.


The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

No tenders for this project were found.

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

Title Document Type Document Date
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project - Additional Financing: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Mar 2016
Air Transport Connectivity Enhancement Project Procurement Plans Jul 2012