By Sirajuddin Khan Nepalgunj, Nov. 29: Works to upgrade the Nepalgunj airport, the busiest airport in Nepal after Tribhuwan International Airport, to an international airport have started by introducing a 20-year master plan. Civil Aviation Office, Nepalgunj , informed that the construction work of the Nepalgunj airport to make it host all international flights had already started. Premnath Thakur, Chief, Civil Aviation Office, Nepalgunj , said, “The 20-year master plan to enable flights of boeing and jet airplanes has now come to execution.” Rs. 12.5 billion is anticipated be required for the construction and the construction would be carried out in four phases, said Thakur. Thakur said, “Since all the four phases of construction are interrelated, works relating to all the phases have subsequently been started.” Thakur said that they had aimed to complete the construction within the deadline. The 20-year master plan for improvement of the airport was made public in the presence of Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai last week. Now only ATR airplanes can fly to and from the airport. “But if the construction is carried out in full pace as per the master plan, big airplanes like Airbus, Boeing and Jet can fly to and from the airport within 20 years,” said Thakur. According to Thakur, the existing 1,524 metered runway of 3-C category would be elongated to 2,445 metres and would be upgraded to 4-C category. The upgraded runway would easily be able to host huge airplanes like Airbus A320neo. The Nepalgunj airport will require additional 100 bighas land for the execution of the master plan. The airport has currently covered 166 bighas land. Civil Aviation Office, Nepalgunj, informed that since acquisition of land was required for the expansion of runway and for construction of terminal building, initiative for expansion of land had already begun. The second phase of the master plan includes expansion of airport and construction of infrastructures within 2025, at an investment of Rs. 2.8 billion. The third and fourth phases of work will reflect internationalisation of Nepalgunj airport. Rs. 7.40 billion is anticipated to be spent to complete the work of third and fourth phases.