Kathmandu’s only international airport has been struggling to meet the demand for electricity in recent times. Apparently, between proper heating of the facilities and operational equipment, there may not enough ‘juice’ to keep everyone happy and avoid outages. This has forced the Nepalese airport to find ways of becoming more efficient and less wasteful when it comes to power.
According to Skift, Nepal’s aviation authority, on Monday, has asked everyone at the international airport to cut down on heating this winter to save power. By doing this, key operational equipment can run without disruption.
“There has been increased demand for electricity use due to the cold weather which is directly effecting the communication, navigation aids and surveillance equipment,” -Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal
Being asked to do their fair share are “airline offices, immigration, customs and shops inside the airport”. These groups have been asked to reduce the usage of heaters and air conditioners at the facility.
Apparently, a spokesperson for the airport says that this is a precautionary measure. In fact, the power situation at the airport currently remains under control. Power outages are a common occurrence in Nepal, despite government attempts to improve the nation’s power grid and power supply in recent times.
According to the Nepali Times, more than half of Nepal’s energy was imported from India in 2019. Skift’s recent report, on the other hand, reports that a third of Nepal’s power is imported from neighboring India.
“The amount we import depends on the total demand, so it keeps going up or down.” – Suresh Bhattarai, Nepal Electricity Authority
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has had to import electricity because of a combination of two factors. Firstly, rising demand partially brought on by cold winter temperatures and secondly, falling production due to low river volume for the country’s hydroelectric dams.
A number of factors have hampered the country’s ability to properly supply adequate energy and become self-sufficient. These include a lack of funds, frequent changes in government, political instability, corruption, and a communist insurgency.
Gateway to the Himalayas
Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport is one of two airports that tourists can fly to in order to access Mount Everest. The other way is on the Chinese side – mainly flying to China’s Lhasa Airport.
However, for tourists, Nepal offers a lot more than just Everest. For adventure seekers and trekkers, the country’s Annapurna circuit is a popular draw as well. And, of course, the city of Kathmandu itself is a cultural experience to discover.
The Kathmandu Post reported that Nepalis were consuming 38% more electricity in 2019 than compared to 2017. The surge in electricity demand, the report says, is largely driven by a more reliable supply of power and increased use of gadgets. At the airport, this would likely translate to an increase in travelers charging their personal devices before their flights.
Hopefully, the airport can manage its power supply and the demand efficiently enough to avoid any serious loss of power that would affect important airport operations.
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