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Global bids re-invited for Tribhuvan International Airport expansion project

- SANGAM PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Dec 10, 2018-

 The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) on Saturday re-invited global bids for soil filling works and construction of international parking bays on the northern side of the runway of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, two years after the project was halted. The final submission deadline for the tenders is January 22, 2019. 

This is the most important construction project at TIA in terms of duration and cost. The fourth package of the works include supplying 2.1 million cubic metres of soil to fill the ravine on the northern side of the runway where nine new parking bays will be constructed, according to the TIA Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project. 

The project includes construction of around 450 metres of taxiway on the northern side. The project is financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). “As the fourth package is the most critical part, it will take at least two years to complete it,” said a project official. 

After sending off Spanish contractor Constructora Sanjose that had been entrusted with the TIA Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project for non-performance in December 2016, the project broke up the scheme into four packages. 

The project hit a snag from the start as the soil to be used as filler for the expansion of the runway was not available. Work was held up for a few days after the airport was closed when a Turkish Airlines jet crash-landed in March 2015. There were further delays due to the 2015 earthquakes and fuel shortages. The project completion deadline was first extended to 2015 and then to 2016, but after even that looked unachievable, the date was pushed back to 2020.

The previous contractor extracted soil from the Pashupati quarry. A writ was filed at the Supreme Court against the extraction of soil from the holy site which issued a stay order. The Spanish company then stopped work after having removed 400,000 cubic metres of soil. 

A project official said that TIA would have 13 new international parking bays within the next three years that are expected to ease congestion at the country’s only international air gateway. The addition will bring the number of parking bays at TIA to 22. The existing nine parking bays are severely strained due to the increased number of flights by foreign carriers.  

According to TIA, four parking bays will be built with the resources of CAAN while nine will be constructed under the TIA Air Transport Capacity Enhancement Project funded by the ADB. 

TIA recorded robust international passenger traffic growth in the first nine months of 2018 despite infrastructure bottlenecks. According to TIA, 3.1 million travellers passed through the airport during the period January-September, up 12.51 percent year-on-year. 

Published: 10-12-2018 08:08

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