Korean firm seeks go-ahead for 2nd international airport

Landmark Worldwide (LMW), a South Korean company that carried out detailed feasibility study (DFS) for the second international airport in Nepal at Nijgadh in Bara district, has filed an application with the government to allow it to construct the much-talked airport.

LMW applied for the permission as per the commitment that the government made while selecting a company for the DFS.

In the commitment, the government had said it would give due priority to the company that carries out DFS while awarding the development works provided the company expresses interest in the construction of the airport.

“We have received the application from LMW,” said Ranjan Krishna Aryal who is the cordinator of the Second International Airport Project, adding that the application has been approved as per the government´s commitment to prioritize the company for implementation of the project.

Proposed Airport Design
Proposed Airport Design

However, he clarified that the acceptance of the application was nothing more than fulfillment of the pre-conditions of DFS. “It doesn´t mean we are awarding the project to LMW,” Aryal said.

Officials at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) said they will forward the application to build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) committee for consideration. If the committee deemed it fit, it will forward the proposal to the Cabinet for the final approval. After the final approval of the Cabinet, BOOT committee will call upon LMW officials for direct negotiations before awarding the project.

Coordinator Aryal said if LMW fails to get approval from BOOT committee, the MoTCA will call issue global tender seeking applicants for the construction of the second international airport.

Going by the laws, the government has special rights to award project from direct negotiation if the project cost is above Rs 2 billion.

According to DFS report, the first phase of the airport can be completed by 2015 with an investment of $600 million. The report states that it will be able to handle 15 million passengers annually along with A380 aircraft.

Country Representative of LMW Binay B Rawal said, “We are very much interested to work in this project but the government will have to go ahead with the fast-track project also to make SIA project a success.”

He further added that there was no meaning of getting SIA project implemented without completion of fast track, which will connect Nijgadh to the capital in less than one and half hours.

Application of LMW has come after a few days of submitting the final DFS report to MoTCA with revision asked by MoTCA officials. LMW had carried out the DFS at the cost of $3.5 million.

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