Pokhara Regional International Airport

The new regional international airport in Pokhara is being developed in Chinnedanda, 3km east of Pokhara’s existing airport. Now,Pokhara will be equipped with a 10,000sqm international terminal and a 4000sqm domestic terminal. The government had acquired 3.106 ropanis of land for the airport in 1975 AD.40 years after the Government of Nepal took possession of the land ,Airport commenced construction after laying the airport’s foundation stone on 13th April 2016. The Pokhara International Airport project has achieved majority of physical progress and the facility is on track to be completed by its stipulated deadline of July next year, despite the lockdown that impacted most of the development projects in the country.

The project is expected to provide improved air transportation services to the growing number of international and domestic passengers and cargo. In addition, it will strengthen the country’s civil aviation sector and contribute to economic and social development, as well as tourism. Capable of handling wide-bodied aircraft, the new airport will serve as an alternative to Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu in the event of an emergency, and facilitate direct connectivity to South and East Asian countries.The conceptual masterplan of the new Pokhara airport is designed to the category 4D standard set by the ICAO, IATA and FAA.A 2.5km-long and 45m-wide runway with a 330m runway strip will support the take-off and landing operations of commercial aircraft such as Airbus A320, Boeing 737-700 series and Boeing 757-200. The facility will serve as the aerial gateway to the Annapurna region, one of Nepal's major trekking destinations. The project continued its construction activities during the lockdown and currently, there are 250 Chinese and 100 Nepali workers working on the project daily.

The project has completed all 14 buildings including a terminal building, air traffic control tower, immigration office, customs, hangar, cargo, administrative, fire control, quarantine and rescue buildings. Workers are currently working on the interior decoration of the constructed buildings. The drainage system including the runways, taxiways, international and domestic aprons have already been constructed. China CAMC Engineering took over the construction contract for the project in May 2014.The construction work started in July 2017.The government signed a $215.96 million soft loan agreement with China EXIM Bank in March 2016 to finance the construction of the airport. According to the agreement, the contractor company should complete the work by July 2021 and then hand over to the government.

The airport is being built under the engineering procurement and construction model. Under this model, a single contractor takes the responsibility for all components like design, engineering, construction and procurement.Majority of construction work of Pokhara Regional International Airport has been completed. The China-based CAMC Engineering Company has been entrusted with the contract to complete the project by 10 July 2021. The construction of national pride project Pokhara Regional International Airport, which is being built as a task of countrywide delight despite all the troublesome lockdown, is continuing and it is all set to welcome the tourists right after COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.