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Country’s second int’l airport to launch test flights by March-end

The government has said that it will conduct its first flights in the country’s second International Airport in Bhairahawa by March-end. The announcement came while it is being questioned over its series of postponements of launch dates casting doubt if the government can keep its words this time.

Attending the annual Tripartite Portfolio Review meeting of the Asian Development Bank, Tourism Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari said that the construction of the airport is almost done and will be completed by December and test flights will begin three months later.

However, Shreekrishna Nepal, joint secretary and chief of the International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division of the Ministry of Finance, speaking at the review, questioned the tourism ministry for the postponements of launch.

He further added that it would give a boost to the country while the nation is nearing its Tourism year 2020 if the ministry could bring the airport in operation on the given date.

According to Naresh Pradhan, project officer (transport) at Asian Development Bank, 77% of the total work has been finished, including runway, taxiway, terminal building and air traffic control tower.

The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand which is responsible for installing communication, navigation and surveillance and air traffic management, will take 90 days more to set up the equipment once the equipment it has ordered from the manufacturer arrives, said Pradhan.

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