Gautam Buddha International Airport (Gbia) in Nepal was officially inaugurated today, to coincide with the festival for the birth of Buddha. The airport was declared operational by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN) on April 21, but the first flights have been scheduled for today.
The airport, located in the metropolitan city of Bhairahawa (or Siddharthanagar) in the state of Lumbini, already existed for domestic traffic since 1958 but with the new runway it has become the second of international level after the Tribhuvan of Katmandu. The project was late completed and financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which granted a $ 150 million soft loan for its construction and upgrading of the Tribhuvan.
Improving airport infrastructure should help revive the tourism sector, severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.