The Tribhuvan International Airport continues to have problems with its sorry runway conditions as well as the maintenance provided which is below standard. The management of the airport seems unfazed by the complaints of the major stakeholders of the airport including all its passengers and the airlines operating there.
It was just recently that the TIA management decided to purchase heavy equipment in their attempt to perform runway maintenance so that it will have better preparedness in times of disasters but it was all left unused after it has been bought. This only shows how extremely bad the management of the airport because no one is accountable for the purchase and the use of the equipment.
A statement from officials of TIA said that the disaster preparedness training that they had back in 2012 to 2013 covers the training of the personnel involved in major operations in terms of disaster management as well as the purchase of heavy duty equipment which will be used for maintenance. The training was held at the Pacific Disaster Center located in Hawaii.
According to TIA Civil Engineering Division’s official, the heavy equipment they have procured includes concrete saw and a mobile asphalt plant. The total purchase amount was almost 200 million Rs. It was said to be reserved as a method of disaster preparedness but it is still not used more than two years after it has been purchased and left out in the open.
The said equipment is able to produce hot-mix asphalt at a rate of six tons for every hour that will be very useful in case there is surface repairs needed on the runway right after natural disasters such as earthquakes.
A station manager working for an international airline questioned the move of the management, or the lack thereof, despite the fact that the airport’s current state is in a level of emergency.
The spokesperson of TIA, Prem Nath Thakur, said that technicians will be working on the runway but he added that he has no knowledge of existing equipment that is left unused inside the airport premises including concrete saw and asphalt plant.