POKHARA (Xinhua) – Construction of two separate terminal buildings, one for international and another for domestic flights, began at the China-assisted Pokhara international airport on Wednesday.
Pokhara, located in western Nepal, is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.
Nepali Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari laid the foundation stone marking the start of construction of the terminal buildings which are expected to complete within a year.
The two terminal buildings will be built at an area of 14,000 square meters, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the implementing agency of the project. During the ceremony, Mr Adhikari said the work on the runway of the airport would also begin within a month.
“The works are moving ahead smoothly as per the set timetable and the airport will be brought into operation by July 2021 after completing the works,” he said.
Stating that the project will be a game-changer for Nepal’s tourism development and economic prosperity, the minister said the Nepali government would also promote the development of other tourism infrastructure projects such as hotels, restaurants, and roads, among others, citing the possible rise in foreign tourists.
This is one of the three new international airports being built in the country. Currently Nepal has only one international airport in the capital city of Kathmandu.
The CAAN, which is also the regulatory body of the aviation sector, said that the work in the project had been moving forward in a speedy way with strong support from local people.
“We expect to complete 40 percent of work at the end of current fiscal year (Mid-July 2019),” Sanjeev Gautam, director general of CAAN told Xinhua.