Butwal Chambers of Commerce and Industry (BuCCI), Rupandehi, has asked to conduct immediate test flights at Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA). Stating that the operation has been delayed due to the non-availability of calibration flight (test flight) at the airport, which is said to be 98 percent completed so far, the organization suggested that the AEROTHAI Company of Thailand should make arrangements to operate the airport as soon as possible.
A team of the local business chamber made an on-site observation of the airport a few days ago. At the time, the GBIA Project Chief Prabesh Adhikari had informed them that the construction work of the airport was almost complete but its operationalization any time soon was uncertain as the AEROTHAI Company was not ready for the calibration flight.
Ujwal Prasad Kasaju, president of BuCCI, asked the airline to make arrangements for the timely operation of the airport by looking for alternatives as it could not conduct the test flight on time. He said the delay in the operation of the airport would have a huge impact on the tourism sector in the region, adding that the airport should be operational soon to protect investment worth billions which is at risk due to COVID-19.
Kasaju said if the airport comes into operation, it would open new avenues for the tourism sector as well as for the expansion of trade and export of agricultural products of the region such as coffee, fruits, herbs and food. Project Chief Adhikari,, however said that the construction work was 98 percent complete and would be completed in the next three months. According to him, the Thai company, which has been contracted for the test flight, is delaying the test flight citing various reasons. He said that efforts were being made to make arrangements for a test flight at the G2G (government to government) level as it would take more time to get a new contract in the final stage.
“We wish for the assigned company to carry out the task as the airport has installed technology from Thailand which will make it easier for the Thai company to complete the work,” he added.