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Thursday, April 30, 2015, Baishakh 17, 1422 BS, Rajab 10, 1436 Hijr

Kathmandu Airport Jam
Bangladesh relief flight suspended
Diplomatic Correspondent
Published : Thursday, 30 April, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 178

A flight of Bangladesh carrying relief materials for the quake-stricken Nepal was unable to depart from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Wednesday as the Tribhuvan Intern-ational Airport traffic in Kathmandu was over-crowded with foreign aircraft.
Such foreign aircraft carried aid materials for Nepal.
The air force giant cargo aircraft C-130 was planned for another sortie to Kathmandu airport with emergency supplies and evacuate the last batch of stranded Bangladesh nationals in Nepal.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of the armed forces, said the aviation authorities cancelled the flight as it did not receive the take-off clearance at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
The lone international airport in Kathmandu had a long queue of foreign aircraft seeking permission to land. The aircraft which carried relief goods are taking long time for unloading as enough handling equipment are not available there.
In addition, the Nepalese airport authorities are taking additional precaution for safety of aircraft landing amid inclement weather. The airport authorities fear expediting cargo handling may jeopardise the traffic, when scores of military helicopters of Nepal, India and the United States are frequently shuttling between the Kathmandu airport and priority areas with food, water and medicine.
The airport could not give slot for arrival of the flight from Bangladesh since many international flights were waiting there, ISPR said. "So the authorities had to suspend the flight (temporarily)."
Bangladesh embassy in Kathmandu is coordinating the evacuation of the stranded nationals. They have been provided modest hospitality and most of them have checked out of the hotels as they ran out of money.
The embassy is frantically keeping in touch with authorities in Dhaka to organize the evacuation, as well as the arrival of the relief materials.
However, the authorities said, the flight will resume, as soon as they get clearance from the Kathmandu airport. The C130 cargo plane will fly to Kathmandu at the soonest, it said.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh foreign ministry issued a travel advice for Bangladesh nationals not to travel to Nepal.
"Following the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal, the government of Bangladesh discourages Bangladesh nationals to undertake any visit to Nepal for touristic purposes until the situation there becomes normal," a press release said.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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