CAAN directs Heli companies to night park 14 helicopters out of the valley. Due to space limitations and weather conditions, the increasing traffic congestion in Tribhuvan International Airport has been challenging to handle. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is the governing body for airports across the nation. It also regulates the airlines and heli companies operating to and from Nepal. This recent direction is aimed at easing the air traffic and space for the busiest airport in Nepal, TIA.
CAAN Directs Heli Companies To Night Park
An agreement has been signed by TIA and six helicopter companies for night parking. The association was demanding the increment of parking spaces for helis in TIA. Earlier, CAAN sent a notice to all the heli companies to reach a mutual understanding. In response, the Airlines Operators Association of Nepal sent their proposed base to TIA and CAAN.
As per the agreement, Fishtail Air, Dynasty Air, and Mountain Air will night parking one helicopter each outside Kathmandu Valley. Likewise, four helicopters of Prabhu Air, five of Shree Airlines, and two from Simrik Air have been fixed for the same.
The helis will night park at Pokhara, Simikot, Lukla and Nepalgunj stations. And flights will be conducted from the same airports, starting in the morning according to the Airlines Operators Association of Nepal. While Altitude Air, Mustang Helicopters, Moutain Air, Manang Air, Kailash Heli, and Heli Everest will continue to fly from the base of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
What Will It Mean For TIA?
TIA has been the major hub for Nepalese heli and airline companies up to now. The airport faces huge air traffic during peak hours with planes and helis operating from the same place. To mitigate the problem, CAAN is targeting to build a separate heliport in Nalinchowk Bhaktapur to move the entire heli traffic. The project is estimated to complete by next year. But it’s likely to take even more time.
The international airport sits at one of the challenging topography surrounded by hills on the lap of the Himalayas. Plus, the airport doesn’t have a huge space and only has a single runway. Also, the frequent weather changes are equally challenging for the flying machines. Due to such reasons, air traffic is usually frustrating. For now, CAAN directs heli companies to night park 14 helis outside Kathmandu, which is quite a relief for air traffic in TIA.
After the completion of the helipad in Bhaktapur, CAAN plans to turn the helipads of TIA into hangars and extra space for jets and airplanes. This should enhance the service and lessen the air traffic in the country. Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) has begun operation. But India’s hesitation and reluctance to provide airspace permissions is hindering the arrival of more international airlines into GBIA. So, TIA still retains most of the air traffic. Tourism season is also going to start from September after two years long haul of Covid situation. It will result in more traffic.
Hence, the reduction of helicopter traffic will ease the traffic in single runway-based TIA. The runway was extended by 300 meters during the lockdown period. Also, the infrastructures of the terminal hall have been enhanced massively.
So, what do you think about the direction of CAAN? Have you used the services of TIA? Do tell us your experience, thoughts, and opinions in the comment section below.