The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said that the 2,500-metre-long and 45-metre-wide rigid pavement, the first of its kind in Nepal, was completed on Wednesday.

The runway will be able to handle medium-range commercial aircraft such as the Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and Boeing 757. The airport will have a 1,200-metre-long and 23-metre-wide taxiway connecting the runway with the parking bays, hangars and terminals.

The airport will have three parking bays for A320-type jets with aerobridge facility and five parking bays for ATR-type aircraft. There will be a separate terminal and parking bay for domestic flights.

As per the agreement, the contractor is required to hand over the project to the government on July 10, 2021. The new airport is located at Chinnedanda, 3 km east of the existing domestic airport. The facility coming up at the tourist and commercial hub of Pokhara will serve as the aerial gateway to the Annapurna region, one of Nepal’s major trekking destinations.

China CAMC Engineering won the construction contract for the project in May 2014. The government signed a $215.96 million soft loan agreement with China EXIM Bank in March 2016 to finance the construction of the airport in the lake city.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli laid the foundation stone for the airport on April 13, 2016.

The airport is being built under the engineering procurement and construction model. Under this model, a single contractor takes responsibility for all components like design, engineering, construction and procurement. The contract binds the contractor to deliver the project at the stipulated time and at the predetermined price regardless of any possible cost overruns.