While Nepal is under a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) here is being renovated to resume flight operations soon, a spokesperson said.
Taking advantage of the lockdown, TIA management has improved the facilities of both domestic and international terminals to help maintain social distancing and hygiene at the airport, The Himalayan Times reported on Thursday citing Dev Chandra Lal Karna, spokesperson for the airport, as saying.
“The 3,000-metre runway has been extended to 3,300 metres. Similarly, construction of parking bay and construction of new departure boarding gates have been completed so far,” he said, adding: “The immigration area has also been renovated.”
The number of parking bays has been increased to 13 from nine.
Construction of six new departure boarding gates has also been completed, while the old departure lounge area has been demolished.
“After a few months, a new entry for the arriving passengers will be introduced with health desk facilities,” he said.
Meanwhile, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, the TIA management is putting in place safety measures to operate flights after the lockdown.
Almost 90 per cent work of social distancing marking at both domestic and international terminals has been completed so far, Karna was quoted as saying by The Himalayan Times
According to new guidelines issud by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), health safety measures will be implemented for all activities, including boarding, managing passengers and security checking processes.
Along with maintaining social distancing while boarding passengers and seating them in the aircraft, many more changes will be implemented as per the new criteria.
Currently the government has suspended all international and domestic flights till May 31.
However, with permission from CAAN, rescue flights, freight flights and flights related to transport of medical and other essential supplies are being conducted. Domestic helicopter movement has also been eased by the government for emergency and cargo flights.