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Airport remains closed

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Nepal’s only international airport remains closed for more than 50 hours after a Turkish Airlines aircraft blocked its runway.

Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) was closed after the Airbus A330 of Turkish Airlines skidded off  the runway at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. The runway has been blocked by the plane’s wing and tail.

The TIA officials say the Kathmandu airport will reopen only after 5 p.m. Friday. A team is working to clear the runway by using Aircraft Removal Kit brought in by an Indian Air Force plane.

As per a request made by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation (MoTCCA), the Indian Air Force plane had brought Aircraft Removal Kit in the TIA at 1 p.m. Thursday. The Indian Air Force plane returned Thursday evening itself.

The plane was lifted off the land on Thursday morning by using a bladder. The front wheels of the plane had bogged down in the soggy grassland.

A Civil Aviation Authority Nepal (CAAN) officer told Nepali Times that efforts are now underway to change the plane’s wheels, which were badly damaged during the crash-landing. Once the new wheels are fitted, the plane will be pulled off the runway.

Thousands of passengers, including Nepali migrant workers bound for gulf countries, have been stranded after the TIA was closed. Hundreds of them are seen outside the TIA, waiting for international flight service to resume.

An international conference on energy, which was scheduled this week in Kathmandu, has been cancelled as the TIA remains closed for the third consecutive day.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the CAAN’s General Manager Ratish Chandra Lal Suman said that the TIA would provide round-the-clock international flight service for three days once the runway is cleared.

Suman had also said that the TIA would reopen by 10 a.m. Thursday. But, the aircraft removal work could not progress as expected and the TIA officials had to close the airport by 5 p.m. Friday.

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3 Responses to “Airport remains closed”

  1. miki lassen on Says:

    if they close the airport because a plane goes off the runway, just think what it will be like when the big one comes!

  2. yam gurung on Says:

    TIA is not fit for purpose. Thanks God every everyone is safe. This is the moral issue for the govt of Nepal’s responsible authorities.
    First place who did recommend to build the International Airport in Kathmandu.
    Jai Desh Jai Bhagya!

  3. Ram on Says:

    Why didn’t this happen when there was SAARC here? I just hoped that everybody would have known what type of country we are, and the system over here in Nepal.

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