Kathmandu is the largest city in Nepal and is situated along the Bagmati River. This vibrant ‘tri-city’ is made up of a population exceeding well over 1.5 million inhabitants. Just 5.56 kilometres away from Kathmandu, you will find the only international airport in Nepal.
The Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is situated between three ancient cities, namely: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. It is within these cities that you will experience the rich Nepalese culture and artistic influence which is reflected in their many beautiful and sacred temples. Tribhuvan International thus plays a very important role since it forms a central hub from which local businesses can expand into the surrounding international arenas. It also provides a business opportunity for both local and international airlines.
Unlike most airports, it is still regarded as being relatively small. It covers an area of 10,240 meters square. However, this does make it practically impossible for one to lose their way in the airport and the structure is a visible landmark from anywhere inside Kathmandu valley. It was officially inaugurated in February 1990 by his Majesty King Birenda. Since then, 90% of all flights now take place from the new terminal, helping the airport to live up to the title “Gateway of Nepal”.
There are many scheduled air services operating here which have branches situated within a reasonable distance from most of the cities around the world. These cities include: Thailand, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Myanmar (Burma), Qatar and Germany, to name just a few. The national carrier is Royal Nepal Airline, which operates using Boeing 757s and 767s for all its international services. It conducts flights from Kathmandu to Bombay, Dhaka, Bangkok, Dubai, Frankfurt and London as well as many other places.
Regardless of whether you arrive in Nepal by land or by air, you will be required to provide information relating the length of your stay and your passport details. These must be filled on a disembarkation card before leaving the airport. Should you wish to travel to India, some form of identification will be necessary to enter – a visa is not an acceptable form of identification. Immigration is relatively simple and there are two counters available for the curious tourist. The first is for those who have valid visas ready for entry into Nepal on arrival; the second is for those who still require visas. A single entry visa for tourists will allow you 60 days within the country and will cost about $30 US dollars. However, should you wish to extend your stay, you will be obligated to visit the Central Immigration Office. All in all, Tribhuvan International Airport will be your gateway into the amazing world that belongs to the Nepalese people.