The construction of the Falgunand Sukilumba airport in Ilam has expedited 14 years after it was conceptualized.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has begun construction of the runway of the airport at the cost of Rs. 65 million.
A 760 meters long and 60 meters wide runway will be completed within the next six months, says Chief of the Falgunand Sukilumba Airport Project Ram Hari Maharjan.
The infrastructure work on the airport shall begin after a grass runway is prepared. A total of 326 ropani of land has been encroached for the airport at the joint initiative of the DDC, Ilam municipality and all the 48 VDCs in the district.
Some three dozen families were displaced as a result. However, a compensation of Rs. 22.6 million was distributed to those affected by the airport construction work.
Upon completion and operation, the airport shall benefit service recipients from Ilam, Paanchthar, Taplejung districts as well as from Darjeeling and Sikkim in neighbouring India. Right now, they are compelled to use the Bhadrapur airport in Jhapa and then travel by road to their respective destinations.