Nalinchok Helipad Comes into Operation

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Nalinchok Helipad Comes into Operation

June 23: A new helipad has come into operation in Nalinchok of Bhaktapur. Helicopter service providers are optimistic that this development will facilitate helicopter flights. This helipad, with the capacity to park 17 helicopters, has been operational since Friday. The operation of the helipad, built at a cost of Rs 110 million, had ended the need to wait in line for takeoff or landing at Tribhuvan International Airport.

Pabitra Kumar Karki, managing director of Air Dynasty, mentioned that helicopters often had to be put on hold due to the pressure of domestic and international flights at Tribhuvan International Airport.

"Although passenger movement will be challenging initially, services from Nalinchok will gradually improve," he said.

Karki also noted that one of Air Dynasty’s helicopters is already stationed at the new helipad. He expressed some concerns regarding the helipad, stating, "The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal is still building infrastructure, and there is a risk of flight disruptions since it is in a residential area." Additional costs will arise to set up offices and for arranging accommodation for pilots, he added.

Pratap Jung Pandey, managing director of Kailash Helicopter Service, expressed concerns on the challenges of relocating operations. His company, which operates three helicopters, has also moved one to Nalinchok.

Currently, 33 helicopters belonging to a dozen companies are providing services in the country. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has instructed each service provider to base one helicopter at Nalinchok.

With the launch of a helipad capable of landing four helicopters simultaneously, companies are focused on office management and accommodating pilots. Service providers using the helipad have requested improvements in aviation fuel supply.

Karki, who said Air Dynasty plans to add another helicopter to its fleet in July, emphasized the need for immediate air fuel management.

Anil Manandhar, manager of Shree Airlines, which operates two helicopters, also requested easy access to aviation fuel. "Flying from Nalinchok to Kathmandu for refueling is not feasible," said Manandhar.

Hansraj Pandey, spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, stated that it is currently impossible to establish permanent fuel storage infrastructure at Nalinchok. For now, fuel will be supplied by tankers of Nepal Oil Corporation.

"The Tribhuvan International Airport office will manage everything," Pandey assured, "A tanker of aviation fuel will be kept on standby to ensure no interruptions due to fuel shortages." Nalinchok Helipad is essentially an extension of Tribhuvan Airport.


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