KATHMANDU — Land Mark Worldwide (LMW) Company of South Korea has stipulated a four-lane fast track road to connect with the capital as a prerequisite for the development of the second international airport (SIA) at Nijgadh of Bara district.While submitting a first preliminary report on a detailed feasibility study for SIA, LMW insisted on a fast track to be completed before building an international airport at Nijgadh. Lee Sang Ho, president and CEO of the South Korean company, had met officials at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) recently in Kathmandu and held discussions with experts of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).According to Kishore Thapa, Secretary at MoTCA, a 10-member team led by Lee had presented the options and concept for the runway, its terminal, and services at the to-be-built SIA. The cabinet had decided to award the SIA feasibility study to LMW, which will bear the estimated cost of $3.551 million."Following inspection of the SIA site the LMW team was very happy and said they found the site far better than they had expected", Thapa said.After completion of a detailed feasibility study, the SIA project would be developed under the Built Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) concept, Thapa said. According to sources, LMW has verbally assured the government that if it gets to develop the SIA it would make it a transit point for most international airlines.The Korean company is expected to submit a final report on feasibility after seven more months.The SIA construction will be taken as a milestone for Nepal´s infrastructure development if it is completed on time. Other partner company representatives were also in the 10-member Korean team.Ranjan Krishna Aryal, joint secretary at MoTCA who is coordinator of a committee on SIA at the ministry, said LMW disclosed a plan for developing a single runway airport in seven years and a double runway in another seven years. The estimated construction cost has not been disclosed but it is expected to be billions of dollars. SIA is going to be designed and constructed as per passenger growth projections.According to the source, LMW envisages developing an airport city along with the SIA. The SIA project will occupy an area of 80 sq km out of which 40 sq km will be for the airport and a town will be built on the rest of the land. LMW is a global company based in South Korea and famous for development, management, and financing of big projects.Tribhuvan International Airport, the only international airport in Nepal, has only one runway and single engine aircraft and big aircraft operate from the same runway.According to the source, LMW entered into agreements last week with local consulting companies to carry out the feasibility study for the SIA. Depending on data collected by these companies, LMW will do the detailed feasibility study.
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Anil Giri serves as Kathmandu Correspondent for The Seoul Times.As a journalist he has worked for such news media as Annapurna Post, BBC, and Himalayan Times for years. He finished his both undergrad Economics degree and his MA degree in English Literature at Tribhuvan Univ., Kathmandu. He also holds a diploma in Development Journalism from prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication-IIMC, New Delhi, India.
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