Kathmandu, A big and bold ‘Welcome to Nepal’ greets the visitor near the gate to the terminal as one disembarks from the aeroplane and heads towards the ‘Arrival’ building at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
This welcome arch is decorated with paper frame depicting the art and culture of Nepal. Right behind this is a big idol of the Garuda with the hands joined in the ‘Namaste’ position. Namaste is a Nepali style of greeting and taking leave.
There are four metal pitchers with flowers. This is the ‘selfie point’ introducing the Visit Nepal Year 2020 to the foreign visitors.
Once inside the arrival lounge, the visitor is fascinated with a variety of photos of temples and shrines, sceneries, artefacts and such items. Water-filled metal pots with flowers on either side of the gate greet the visitors as they enter the arrival lounge.
The foreign visitors might ask why this welcome again as they move ahead. “It is our culture,” the Nepalis who are there to receive the foreign guests reply. An attractive statue of Kumari, the living goddess of Nepal, is another thing that catches the visitors’ sight at the Tourist Arrival Lounge. The visitors do not miss the chance to click a ‘selfie’ with the Kumari’s statue.
This is the sight at the Arrival Terminal at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Of late, the look of Nepal’s only international airport has changed. Passengers arriving and departing from the TIA will now feel some change as the airport’s interior look has seen a profound change. The exterior is also being decorated in an attractive way.
Reforms in the sole international airport were in the priority of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation since he assumed the office and results have been reflected in the TIA inner looks.
As ‘morning shows the day,’ the changing scenario at TIA provides a sufficient ground to claims that it can be established as a ’boutique airport’. Government officials said that plans are being development accordingly.
In a recent programme, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli pledged to convert TIA into a ’boutique airport’.
“TIA identifies the nation in the international arena and guests arriving here made the first impression about Nepal upon seeing it and that’s why we are working to change its face,” general manager Chhetri said.
The existing structures will be given the Nepali looks to change it into the ’boutique airport’. Besides, the use of posters displaying the Nepal’s hospitality tradition and other woodcrafts would be focused. The results have proved that “even minor reforms will lead to a significant reform,” he added.
The international airport is dotted with various materials and pictures showing the way of cultures and festivals celebrated by Nepali people and grey and navy blue carpets spreading along the exit passage, immigration area and waiting rooms.
The passengers can take taxies parked in the parking lot in the airport premises to their destinations without any hassle.
The parking lot of the Airport has been upscaled as well. Earlier the incidents of theft and loot were a frequent occurrence. Lately the area is under the scrunity of the security officials as CCTV cameras with siren alarm have been installed in the parking area.
Airport Engineer Chandramadi Sapkota said that a park would be built to further beautify in the place where taxis were parked wantonly in the past.
Furthermore, the entry and departure to the Airport has been streamlined with construction of a new gate for the exit purpose. The earlier ‘Golden Gate’ is only used for entering the Airport while to exit, one has to get out from the newly built gate in the new taxi parking area.
The restrooms in the Airport have been kept neat and tidy. Cleaning staffs are deployed to make sure they ensure cleanliness in one of these high traffic places in the Airport.
A new carpet has been laid in the earlier empty space in the security check areas in the second story of the Terminal Building. The new blue colored carpet seems to add extra edge to the TIA.
The hoarding boards have been replaced by the pictures capturing Nepali arts, cultures and traditions in all their glory.
– CB Adhikari