Testing of equipment at Bhairahawa Airport will begin as soon as possible.

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It has finally been possible to move forward with the project to calibrate and test newly installed communication and navigation equipment at the new international airport in Bhairahawa, which had been stopped for over two years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

Before they can be put into operation, all new airports must go through a rigorous flight inspection process that includes testing of every infrastructure.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal announced that, barring any unforeseen delays, Nepal’s second international airport, following Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, would begin accepting passengers in January. Tribhuvan International Airport is Nepal’s primary international airport.

The new facility, which will cost Rs6.22 billion and will be located in the center Tarai, has been named Gautam Buddha International Airport. In addition, it serves as a gateway to Lumbini, the international pilgrimage destination that is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. The airport has a runway that is 3,000 metres long and 45 metres wide.

According to Raj Kumar Chhetri, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, a senior official of the aeronautical radio of Thailand arrived on Friday to assess the situation, according to the Post. “The project that had been stalled has been restarted.”

As reported by the civil aviation authority, a representative of the Thai firm will recommend acceptable schedule for the calibration and testing of the new communication and navigation infrastructure based on the evaluation made on the ground by the civil aviation authority.

According to Pravin Neupane, engineer in charge of the communication and navigation component of the project, “another technical team will come in three to four days.”

 

It might take as many as 40 flying hours to complete the calibration of the new airport, according to technicians, depending on the weather conditions. The calibration will be carried out by a special aircraft flying at altitude of 40,000 feet.

“The calibration, on the other hand, will be determined by the weather.” As of right now, the climatic conditions in the Tarai region are ideal. “There is no such thing as a cold wave,” Neupane stated.

The project was intended to be completed by October of this year, including all activities such as testing and calibration of the communication and navigation equipment; but, the second wave of the coronavirus, which began in mid-April, caused the revised timetable to be thrown off track.

In a contract awarded on March 7, 2019, a Thai government-owned company, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand, was awarded a $4.83 million contract at Gautam Buddha International Airport for the provision of communication, navigation, and surveillance/air traffic management equipment, as well as meteorological equipment and other related services. It was anticipated that the project will be completed in 2019.

Contrary to what was happening due to Covid, a Thai company had completed the installation of navigation and communication equipment in August 2021, but had informed the airport project that they would not begin calibration and testing until after the Covid-19 situation in Nepal had receded to almost zero.

With roughly 9,000 new cases surfacing daily, the coronavirus positive rate reached 45 percent in May, representing increase of approximately 3,000 percent over the previous month.

Following the company’s reluctance to come to Nepal for fear of being exposed to Covid, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal approached the governments of South Korea and India, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States, for permission to conduct the tests. Only the government of India agreed to conduct the tests.

 

A flight inspection of the radar system at Bhatte Danda in Lalitpur was done by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a federal agency of the United States government responsible for the regulation of aircraft and airports.

As a result, the civil aviation authority initiated a government-to-government agreement with India, citing the difficulty of bringing in foreign experts in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which could cause delays in testing at the new airport as well as periodic checks at other airports throughout Nepal.

Several airports have requested that the Airports Authority of India provide periodic airport and flight inspection services for their facilities. Nepal had offered a three-year contract with India, which was accepted. unexpected twist occurred in the story.

representative from the Civil Aviation Authority stated that they had sent out a formal letter to the Thai company advising them of the breach in the agreement. “However, the Thai company responded by stating that it was prepared to perform the work,” said the official, who asked not to be identified.

As a result, Thailand reopened its doors on November 1, just a few days after the letter was sent.”

“According to the law, the Thai corporation is permitted to carry out its contract. “Normally, the breach of contract is accomplished through mutual understanding,” the official explained.

Another contract signed by the civil aviation authority was for provision of periodic airport and flight inspection services for its domestic airports in and Simara as well as its international airports in Biratnagar, Nepalgunj, and Bhairahawa. All of these airports require annual flight inspections and the contract was for three years.

 

“The period of the three-year agreement will come to an end this year,” the person explained further.

These inspections are carried out in flight by flight inspection aircraft, which are used to analyze and assess the performance and effectiveness of the navigation and landing aids in order to assure the safety of aircraft that rely on them for navigation and landing navigation.

However, since Nepal has begun a diplomatic process in order to sign a government-to-government agreement for periodic airport inspection, the matter has become embroiled in a political debate.

In regards to communication with India, another top official at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal stated that “the board of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal or the Tourism Ministry will determine what to do now.”

According to the Indian state agency, “the cost or fee for the periodic airport and flight inspection services proposed by them is cheaper than the fee charged by other corporations.” Furthermore, due of the close proximity to India, it will be simple for Nepal to enlist the help of the Indian state body, which will save both time and money, according to officials.

As stated by the civil aviation authority, the international airport in Bhairahawa is equipped with an instrument landing system (ILS), which must be inspected at least twice a year.

“The three-year government-to-government agreement is not a bad concept,” says the author.

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