In a recent Cabinet meeting held on Thursday, the government has taken a significant step towards the construction of the long-awaited Nijgadh International Airport. The decision comes after the government considered the recommendations of an expert committee tasked with providing guidance on the airport’s construction.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology and Government Spokesperson Rekha Sharma announced that the Council of Ministers has directed the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation to proceed with the implementation of the expert committee’s report. Minister Sharma stated, “The decision has been made to move forward with the construction of Nijgadh Airport.”
The impetus for this decision was the Supreme Court’s order to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact study before commencing airport construction. Following the court’s directive, an expert group was formed by the Council of Ministers on August 11 to assess and provide recommendations for the construction of a full-fledged international airport.
The expert group’s conclusion is that Nijgadh is a suitable location for the construction of an international airport to accommodate the increasing air traffic, contributing to Nepal’s overall development and economic growth.
According to the expert group’s report, the proposed airport site covers approximately 4,000 hectares within a larger area of about 9,000 hectares situated between the Pasaha River and the Bakia River. This location is strategically connected to the Kathmandu-Terai Expressway (Fast Track) and the East-West Highway, enhancing accessibility.
Notably, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order to minimize tree cutting and environmental damage, the expert group recommends abandoning the airport city concept. This decision reflects the government’s commitment to balancing the need for improved air infrastructure with environmental conservation.
The decision to move forward with the Nijgadh International Airport construction marks a pivotal moment in Nepal’s aviation and infrastructure development, and it is expected to have a significant impact on the country’s economic progress.