As Nepal begins to relax its travel restrictions and passenger influx grows at the country’s sole international airport, the new arrival section at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has a new problem – management of arriving passengers due to infrastructural issues.
The new wing, which was supposed to ease passenger arrival, is now doing the opposite as serpentine queues of passengers with luggage await to use any of the three available lifts. Ajay Niroula, a passenger who had just arrived from Doha, highlighted the need for a ramp or a ‘travelator’ for smoother operations.
A travelator is a slow-moving conveyor mechanism that transports people across a horizontal or inclined plane over a short to medium distance. Travelators can be used by standing or walking on them.
“Either there should be a travelator or baggage claim should have been placed in the ground floor itself,” Niroula said. Though the construction of a travelator is ongoing, it is slow-paced.
With five airplanes landing between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., the scenes at the arrival lounge was chaotic on Tuesday. According to a TIA staffer, the need for a travelator is urgent and the lack of it had created disorder.
“The whole objective of this new arrival section was to reduce waiting time for passengers – but the current setup is proving to be otherwise.”
Currently, there are three sets of lifts serving anywhere between 500 – 700 arriving passengers during peak hour. As seen in the video, frustrated passengers are seen dragging their trolleys down the staircase as the queue for the lift is too long.
Tribhuvan International Airport is currently being upgraded into a boutique airport so as to accommodate higher number of arrivals – the new arrival lounge is a part of the same exercise, and was completed recently. However, delay in completing one infrastructure is threatening the entire setup and is in need of immediate intervention.