Pokhara International Airport: Runway, taxiway expected to be ready by mid-April 2019The international airport project in Pokhara has achieved physical progress of 22 percent in the last one and a half years, and the runway and taxiway are expected to be ready by mid-April. The facility will serve as the aerial gateway to the Annapurna region, one of Nepal’s major trekking destinations.
Published at : December 25, 2018
Updated at : December 26, 2018 07:15
The international airport project in Pokhara has achieved physical progress of 22 percent in the last one and a half years, and the runway and taxiway are expected to be ready by mid-April. The facility will serve as the aerial gateway to the Annapurna region, one of Nepal’s major trekking destinations.
Pokhara International Airport will have a 2,500-metre-long and 45-metre-wide runway, able to handle medium-range commercial aircraft such as the Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and Boeing 757. The airport will have 1,200-metre-long and 23-metre-wide taxiway connecting the runway with parking bays, hangars and terminals.
The project aims to achieve 35 percent physical progress this fiscal year ending mid-July. As per the work plan, 60 percent of the airport will be completed by 2019 and the rest by 2020. The contractor is required to hand over the
project to the government on July 10, 2021.
Project chief Binesh Munankarmi said that work was proceeding ahead of schedule. “Work has been expedited to complete the project six months before the deadline.” He said that the contractor had been paid Rs3 billion so far.
China CAMC Engineering won the construction contract for the project in May 2014. The government signed a $215.96 million soft loan agreement with China EXIM Bank in March 2016 to finance the construction of the airport in the lake city. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli laid the foundation stone for the airport on April 13, 2016.
As per the agreement, 25 percent of the loan from China EXIM Bank is interest-free. The interest on the rest of the loan has been fixed at 2 percent per annum. The loan repayment period has been fixed at 20 years, including a grace period of seven years when no interest will be charged. The government will bear any risk from fluctuations in the foreign exchange rate.
According to the project, the foundation of the terminal is complete. The airport will have a 10,000 square-metre international terminal building and a 4,000 square-metre domestic terminal building.
Krishna Chapagain, public relations officer of China CAMC Engineering, said that they had targeted completing the project six months before the deadline. He added that 300 Nepali and 100 Chinese workers were working on the construction site. “Initially, shortages of cement and explosives slightly affected work, but the problem has been solved now.”
The airport is being built under the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) model. Under an EPC contract, a single contractor takes responsibility for all components like design, engineering, construction and procurement. The contract binds the contractor to deliver the project at the stipulated time and at the predetermined price regardless of any possible cost overruns.