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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a $150m concessional loan for major airport upgrades in Nepal.

The funding will be used to enhance the capacity of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in the capital of Kathmandu and Gautam Buddha Airport (GBA) in Siddharthanagar in a bid to support tourism, one of the key contributors to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Particularly, the ADB loan will support the construction of a parallel taxiway extension and hangar aprons at TIA.

At GBA, it will be used for the construction of a new international terminal building. The building will feature solar panels and energy-efficient lighting as part of sustainable construction efforts.

ADB South Asia senior transport specialist Kai Wei Yeo said: “ADB’s support will improve TIA’s safety, capacity, and operational efficiency. In addition, the new GBA international terminal will play a key role in boosting regional tourism in and around Lumbini.

“The project will help revive the country’s tourism industry and address the long-term negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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By GlobalData

Nepal, a landlocked country in South Asia, generated around $2.05bn through tourism last year. The figure represents around 6.7% of GDP.

TIA is Nepal’s only international airport while GBA is designed to serve as an alternate international air transport facility.

This February, it was reported that the Covid-19 pandemic will delay the completion of Pokhara Regional International Airport in the country.

The airport is being built by China CAMC Engineering.