The new in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal at Paro in­au­gu­rated

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Deki Lhaden

His Royal High­ness Gyalt­shab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in­au­gu­rated the new ar­rival ter­mi­nal at Paro last Mon­day. The min­is­ter for In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ly­onpo D.N. Dhungyel and the In­dian Am­bas­sador to Bhutan Gau­tam Bam­bawale was also present dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

His Royal High­ness was re­ceived with a Chip­drel pro­ces­sion by the of­fi­cials of Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion & Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Depart­ment of Air Trans­port and Paro Dzongkhag. The pro­gramme in­cluded Trashi Rab­ney of the new ar­rival ter­mi­nal build­ing, offering of Zhabten to His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo & Zhabten to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, un­veil­ing of the in­au­gu­ral plaque, open­ing of the new ar­rival ter­mi­nal and cul­tural pro­gramme.

To co­in­cide with His Majesty Fourth Druk Gyelpo’s 60th Birth an- niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion, the ter­mi­nal was com­pleted seven months ahead of the sched­ule as per the Depart­ment of Air Trans­port.

The new ter­mi­nal is ex­pected to more than dou­ble the han­dling ca­pac­ity in terms of air­craft, ve­hi­cle park­ing and pas­sen­ger. The pas­sen­gers of up to four flights can now be han­dled at the same time.

To lower the elec­tric­ity us­age by uti­liz­ing the sun­light di­rectly, two sec­tion of the ter­mi­nal have semi­trans­par­ent roofs.

The new ter­mi­nal’s ar­rival hall which is dou­ble the size of the ex­ist­ing hall can set up 16 im­mi­gra­tion coun­ters.

Karma Wangchuk, Di­rec­tor of Depart­ment of Air Trans­port in his speech thanked His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck for es­tab­lish­ing avi­a­tion in­dus­try and its sig­nif­i­cant progress.

He also thanked His Majesty the Fifth King and the gov­ern­ment for tak­ing the avi­a­tion to “greater height” by in­tro­duc­ing he­li­copter ser­vices.

The di­rec­tor also thanked In­dian gov­ern­ment for its con­tin­ued sup­port in ex­pend­ing Paro in­ter­na­tional air­port. The sum of Nu. 342.1mil­lion is funded by Gov­ern­ment of In­dia for the new ter­mi­nal.

In­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion min­is­ter, DN Dhungyel in his ad­dress said that the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the new ter­mi­nal was the best way to cel­e­brate His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyelpo’s 60th Birth an­niver­sary when it comes to the “vi­tal” avi­a­tion in­dus­try.

As per the min­is­ter the avi­a­tion in­dus­try has had ma­jor im­pact on so­cio-eco­nomic growth of Bhutan, its in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, health and ed­u­ca­tion, and gov­er­nance, among oth­ers since its es­tab­lish­ment.

Ly­onpo said, “Given the dra­matic ex­pan­sion that has taken place over the past three decades, the ex­ist­ing Avi­a­tion Act is be­ing dis­cussed by the cur­rent ses­sion of the par­lia­ment.”

The avi­a­tion in­dus­try to­day em­ploys 800 peo­ple di­rectly and many more in­di­rectly.

The new ter­mi­nal is ex­pected to be opened for oper­a­tions by mid­next month af­ter the com­ple­tion of apron or park­ing area for air­craft. The es­tab­lish­ment of new sep­a­rate Ar­rival Ter­mi­nal build­ing at Paro In­ter­na­tional Air­port is timely as it would greatly ease the con­ges­tion of air pas­sen­gers since the cur­rent ter­mi­nal build­ing, which houses both the ar­rival and de­par­ture ter­mi­nals, has reached the full ca­pac­ity.

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