KATHMANDU, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- The rehabilitation project of the runway and taxiways of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the sole international airport of Nepal, has been completed here at least 128 days before the schedule.
At a function attended by Nepali Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi and high level aviation officials, the project was handed over to the Nepali side by the contractor China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation on Saturday.
Addressing the handover ceremony, the Nepali minister expressed gratitude towards the Chinese contractor for successfully completing the rehabilitation project.
"The project has not just strengthened Nepal's only international airport and aviation sector, but has also strengthened the bilateral relations between Nepal and China," Bhattarai said.
The minister noted that the reconstructed runway and taxiways of TIA will be instrumental in promoting Visit Nepal Year 2020, which aims to attract two million foreign tourists.
On the occasion, the Chinese ambassador expressed hope that the successful completion of such important infrastructure will bring great benefits to Nepal.
"The improvement of airport conditions will be conducive to accommodate more flights, attract more tourists and improve travel experience. This will contribute to the tourism industry of Nepal," Hou said.
It is the first time that the TIA runway has been reconstructed. TIA was facing congestion before the commencement of the project in April.
According to officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, with the new runway and taxiways, TIA will resume its regular operation of flights for 21 hours a day.