KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 28
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is preparing to provide ground-handing services at Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA), which is nearing completion. As GBIA has mentioned that it will be ready within the next six months, NAC has proceeded to get the permission to provide ground-handling services at the airport.
NAC has been holding meetings with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), informed Sushil Ghimire, executive chairperson of NAC.
“Two weeks back we had a meeting with MoCTCA where I had requested Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai to hand over responsibility of groundhandling at GBIA to NAC,” he said. “Since we are the national flag carrier and also have experience of providing such service at Tribhuvan International Airport, NAC is capable of providing the ground-handling services at GBIA.”
As per Ghimire, Minister Bhattarai has verbally agreed to NAC’s proposal and has started his internal works regarding this.
“We have held frequent meetings with CAAN and they too are positive about our proposal,” he said. “We have already submitted our documents to the authority.”
Earlier, the government had decided to hand over all the activities of GBIA to the private sector. However, due to the crisis created by the COV- ID-19 pandemic there is less chance of any new party being appointed to handle that responsibility.
Thus, at least for immediately after the airport starts its operations, NAC has requested MoCTCA to give them the work, Ghimire added.
“We have a long experience of providing ground-handling service at TIA and our skilled manpower and equipment are on standby. So, for us it will not be difficult to begin the work any time,” he said, adding, “The decision will be taken soon and we are very sure that the government will give us the opportunity.”
He further claimed that NAC is completely prepared to provide ground-handling services at GBIA.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 29, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.