Pokhara Regional Int’l Airport being inaugurated today

KATHMANDU: The newly-built Pokhara Regional International Airport– the first project implemented in Nepal as a part of the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation– is being inaugurated on Sunday amid a special ceremony in Pokhara.

The regional international airport is being formally brought into operation from Sunday, marking the beginning of the English New Year, 2023. According to the Pokhara Regional International Airport (PRIA) Civil Aviation Office, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to inaugurate the airport.

Director of PRIA Bikram Gautam said that Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel, top leaders of various political parties, industrialists and tourism professionals are scheduled to participate in the opening ceremony.

He said, “Prime Minister Dahal will be the chief guest. The opening ceremony will be special and grand with the participation of senior officials of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Provincial Government, Pokhara Metropolitan City, Pokhara Tourism Council and other tourism organizations.”

A spokesperson at the Embassy of China in Nepal said the Pokhara Regional International Airport is the flagship project of China-Nepal Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation. “The inauguration ceremony of Pokhara International Airport will be held at 11 am tomorrow [Sunday]. This is the flagship project of China-Nepal BRI cooperation. [The Embassy] warmly congratulates to Nepali Government and Nepali people,” the spokesperson wrote on Twitter.

Embassy of China in Kathmandu in a statement said that the newly-built airport is designed and built in accordance with the standards of China and the International Civil Aviation Organization, which reflects the quality of Chinese projects, symbolizes the national pride of Nepal, and becomes a remarkable sign for China and Nepal to jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative.

“The new airport not only facilitates personnel exchanges between Nepal and China and other countries, but also proves the true friendship and mutual assistance between the two countries in times of adversity,” said the embassy.

According to the Civil Aviation Office of Pokhara International Airport, the crew and passengers of the aircraft landing at the airport from the first flight in the morning will be welcomed with garlands on the opening day of the airport.

A formal event to inaugurate the airport is scheduled to begin after 11 am and the ‘celebration’ will be held after 2 pm, according to Director Gautam. The opening ceremony will be grand with programs such as tableaux of different castes, fashion show and other programs in coordination with Pokhara Metropolitan City and Pokhara Tourism Council.

Pokhara Metropolitan City has also started necessary preparations to make the international airport opening program more organized. The metropolis plans to honor the ancestors of different castes, various cultural performances and celebrations to make the inauguration event a grand one. Among others, the metropolis plans to felicitate the architect of the airport Shankar Raj Pathak with a chariot ride.

Pokhara metropolis Mayor Dhana Raj Acharya said that PRIA is a matter of pride for Pokhara as the airport is the decade-long dream of the residents of Pokhara. “The metropolis is working to make the opening ceremony grand. We have formed various sub-committees and worked for this. As the airport will prove to be a milestone in the promotion of tourism in this region, it is necessary to convey the message of the grand opening to the whole world,” he said.

Chairman of the Pokhara Tourism Council Pomnarayan Shrestha said that Pokhara is a major tourist destination in the country and the tourism sector will benefit immensely with the operation of the new international airport. “We businessmen and investors are all happy as the airport is coming into operation.

This airport is expected to bring a big relief to the tourism sector. Along with the international airport, we will make a promotional campaign around the world to bring in more tourists in Pokhara,” he said.

Pokhara Airport was built by the Chinese construction company CAMCE. Earlier in March last year, the airport was handed over to Nepal during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Nepal. At that time, some works of the airport were yet to be completed.

The airport was built with the help of Rs 22 billion concessional loans and grants from China’s Exim Bank. Although the land was acquired in the year BS 2032, the foundation stone of the airport was laid only in the year 2073 BS and the actual construction work started a year later.


Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday January 1, 2023, 12:19:29 PM |

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