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No end to TIA crisis

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Three days on, resumption of international flight service still looks uncertain in Tribhuvan International Airport.

Nepal’s only international airport remains closed since 7:45 a.m. Wednesday when a Turkish Airlines plane crash-landed there. The airbus A330 of Turkish Airlines has obstructed the TIA’s only runway with its wing and tail.

The Civil Aviation Authority Nepal (CAAN), which operates the TIA, has ruled out possibility of resumption of international flight service at least until 10 a.m. Saturday.

“We’re trying our best to reopen the airport,” said the CAAN’s General Manager Ratish Chandra Lal Suman. “But, we can’t say when it will reopen.”

The CAAN has been extending the shutdown of international flight operations, citing difficulties in removing the Turkish Airlines plane from the runway. At a press briefing on Friday, Suman told journalists: “Please, don’t write specifically when the runway will be cleared. It might be tomorrow or day after tomorrow. We can’t say anything precisely.”

Thousands of passengers, including Nepali migrant workers bound for gulf countries, have been stranded after the TIA shutdown. As the CAAN is unable to categorically state when the TIA will reopen, hundreds of passengers have been visiting the airport every day.

A technical team that arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday by an Indian Air Force aircraft worked till Friday evening to remove the Turkish Airlines plane. But, the team failed to clear the runway.

The plane’s frontal part was lifted off the ground by using lifting airbag on Friday. The plan is to change smoothen the ground, change the wheels and pull the aircraft away from the runway.

In the wake of the TIA shutdown, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has stressed the urgency for an alternative international airport  in Nepal. According to a press statement, Koirala has instructed concerned ministries and authorities to expedite works on alternative international airports.

Nepal is now building two more international airports, one in Bara and another in Pokhara. But, physical works of these airports are yet to start.

In the press statement, Koirala has also urged concerned authorities to provide facilities to international passengers stranded in Kathmandu due to the TIA shutdown as per standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).





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3 Responses to “No end to TIA crisis”

  1. A passanger on Says:

    What a joke. They really have no clue.
    It’s surprising to see all the nepalese passangers just sitting near the airport quietly. They are well domesticated.

  2. bairagi khukuri on Says:

    What!!The Indian team failed?? Oh, we need team of NASA scientist to invent an aniti-gravity device that can lift the turkish plane and set it aside. Another option would be to extend the runway on the other end. Still another vailable option would be to gradually lift the part of the runway above the area where the crashed plane is to break the plane’s momemtum as it lands. We can also request RONAST to look into inventing a teleportaion device to help the migrant workers get to the gulf countries as soon as possible. Perhaps Chinese Scientist can open up a small worm hole at TIA just in case our politician have one of those health issues and have to travel abroad. With this pace, we can expext another internation airport to be built in ….perhaps 2050.

  3. Ravi on Says:

    People forget the amazing job they did really I was surprised to see the density of crowds inside then it looked overly programmed, the crash was not a Nepalese mistake at all.

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