January 21: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is preparing to recruit the management staff for the operation of Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa. The airport is gearing up for calibration flights and then regular flights subsequently. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has appointed a Managing Director (MD) for the operation and management of the airport. The airport has witnessed 99 percent progress in construction.
CAAN appointed Govinda Prasad Dahal as the managing director of Gautam Buddha Airport on January 20. Dahal arrived at the airport on January 16.
The airport requires 151 employees for operation. Currently, 34 employees including the managing director, have been appointed. The Central Office of CAAN is recruiting staff from internal sources and open competition.
Newly-appointed managing director Dahal said that a maximum of 30 employees would be needed immediately, though not all of them now. He said that there was an urgent need for staff in the fields of radio, mechanical, computer and fire departments.
As the calibration flight will be done soon at the airport, it is necessary to immediately appoint staff.
He informed that the Aero Thai team is preparing to come to Nepal on Saturday, January 22 for the calibration flight. The authority has reached an agreement with the Thai company for a calibration flight at the airport.
Construction of Gautam Buddha Airport was started seven years ago. The concerned authorities have already spent Rs 22 billion on compensation for acquiring lands. Regarding the equipment and construction, only Rs 2 billion remains to be paid. After waiting for nearly six and a half decades, Nepal is all set to operate Gautam Buddha Airport as the country’s second international airport.
However, due to the Covid-19 crisis, the completion of the airport has been delayed, and now the date of the test and calibration flight has been postponed. It is yet to be decided whether the airport, which is in the final stages of construction, will be operated by the CAAN itself or handed over to the private sector. CAAN has said that it is doing homework on the modalities of airport operation.