Lhakpa Quendren

Gelephu – The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MoIT) is in the process of formulating the master plan for the establishment of the upcoming international airport in Gelephu, Sarpang.

The groundwork preparation comes following the completion of a feasibility study, soil testing, and necessary technical assessments.

The proposed airport with a 4-kilometre runway covers an extensive 2,000 acres of land that spans from Samtenling Gewog, including parts of Gelephu Gewog and Gelephu Thromde, to the banks of Maochhu. The width of the airport extends between the forest checkpost and the Shetikhari stream in Gelephu Thromde.

The draft master plan shows that the airport is strategically planned at a reasonable distance from the international border.

The MoIT confirmed that the master plan has not been finalised yet. 

Meanwhile, growing speculation has emerged among the landowners whose properties within the location of the proposed airport about their land replacement and compensation.

The decision on the utilisation of private land, which would be acquired for the airport’s development, would be determined by the government.

Sources say that upon the completion of the Gelephu international airport, the facility will have the capability to accommodate landing and takeoff for all international airlines.

Regarding the existing Gelephu domestic airport, the ministry said the facility will remain operational, either as a separate domestic airport or as an integrated component of the planned international airport.

The government completed the draft master plan for the upgradation process after the necessary technical assessments and studies were conducted in partnership with a consultancy firm from Japan.

The current domestic airport covers an area of over 500 acres in Samtenling Gewog. Expansion plans were made to cover a total land area of 700 acres.