Summit Air’s plane lands in ManangRemote Manang district has been reconnected by air after two years with Summit Air recently conducting a charter flight to Humde Airport. The Czech-made Let L-410 carried eight foreigners and two Nepalis.
Remote Manang district has been reconnected by air after two years with Summit Air recently conducting a charter flight to Humde Airport. The Czech-made Let L-410 carried eight foreigners and two Nepalis.
Until four years ago, there used to be two weekly passenger flights to Humde Airport from Pokhara.
Humde Airport is located at Nesyang Rural Municipality at an elevation of 3,330 metres above sea level in the central Himalaya. It was built three and a half decades ago.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal blacktopped the 900-metre runway in 2012-13 at a cost of Rs90 million. Nepal Airlines Corporation then conducted a test flight to the airport. Since then, there has been no regular service. Goma Air also conducted a flight two years ago.
The flight to Humde Airport was chartered by the World Wildlife Fund which aims to make a documentary on the snow leopard. Tashi R Ghale, an expert on snow leopard, said a team of Finnish and Nepalis would be shooting the documentary in Manang. The team is scheduled to stay in the district until Wednesday.
“Regular flights would have provided a big relief to locals,” said Kanchha Gurung, a resident of Manang.
Krishna Prasad Timisina, a government official serving at Nesyang Rural Municipality who took the Summit Air flight to Pokhara, said regular flights would make travel easy.
Infrastructure has deteriorated due to lack of use as there are no regular flights to Humde Airport. Nepal Airlines Corporation has shifted its staff at the Manang station to the Pokhara Regional Office.
Kanchha Ghale, chairman of Nesyang Rural Municipality, said elderly people, children and patients had been facing problem due to the absence of regular flights. “We have been trying to attract the attention of the authorities through various channels, but there has been no progress so far,” he said.
Unstable governments and indifference among political leaders in the development of remote districts have been blamed for the lack of regular flights.
Binod Gurung, a tourism entrepreneur, said regular service to Manang could help attract a large number of visitors to the region.
Road connectivity is also poor in Manang district. The highway connecting Dumre-Besisahar-Chame is in a pathetic condition. “Due to this reason, if air service is reinstated, it will facilitate travel by reducing costs and time,” said Chief District Officer of Manang Hari Prasad Pant.