•      Mon Jul 22 2024

PM Dahal instructs on operating Pokhara and Bhairahawa airports at full capacity

Kathmandu, June 21: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has held a high-level discussion about operating newly constructed Pokhara International Airport and Gautam Buddha International Airport, Bhairahawa, at full capacity.

In the discussion held at the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers on Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Dahal discussed the options and measures to operate the two international airports at full capacity.

In the discussion, the Prime Minister stressed that both the airports are projects of national pride and strategic importance, and said that all government agencies should find a solution in a coordinated manner.

Prime Minister Dahal said, “Pokhara and Bhairahawa Airports are projects of national pride. The state has also invested heavily in the construction of these projects. Accordingly, the private sector has also invested in tourism infrastructure. Under such circumstances, there is no other option to operate these airports at full capacity. Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) should seriously prepare and come up with a concrete proposal.”

PM Dahal also instructed competent authorities to providing concessions for airlines and directed to bring the blueprint of modalities.

He said, “There is a problem of air traffic at Kathmandu airport. A proper solution should be given to it. On the other hand, improvement and capacity expansion of Kathmandu Airport is also going on. At this time, necessary preparations should be made for international flights from Bhairahawa and Pokhara. Preparations should be made to fly Nepali travelers and other travelers going for foreign employment from Bhairahawa and Pokhara. For that, medical, labor approval, immigration etc. government services should be arranged in Pokhara and Bhairahawa. Diplomatic initiative should be taken for visa center.”

Prime Minister Dahal said, “Some concessions should be given for the airport to operate at full capacity. Give some concessions on air tickets, ground handling, air fuel, among others. Let’s also coordinate with the private sector and request for concession packages in hotels.”

In the discussion, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Hit Bahadur Tamang said that they will do the necessary homework and present a concrete proposal to operate the airports at full capacity.

Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism Dr. Ganesh Prasad Pandey said that a concrete proposal will be presented after discussing the options with concessional packages and said that the ministry is also discussing with foreign airline companies to operate both airports at full capacity.

On the occasion, Minister Tamang, Chief Secretary Dr. Baikunth Aryal, Tourism Secretary Dr. Pandey, Commerce Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, Revenue Secretary Dr. Ram Prasad Ghimire, Labor Secretary Ghanshyam Upadhyay, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Director-General Pradeep Adhikari, among other high level officials were present.

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