However, aviation experts say flight curfews do not make sense and there are plenty of alternatives for the aerial sports companies – including Syangja for paragliding and Baglung’s unused airfield for ultralights.
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards do not allow any aircraft to operate within the airspace of an international airport and neither is it safe to do so.
“It is technically impossible to fly paragliders and ultralights near what is going be a busy airport, it has to follow strict international safety guidelines,” says infrastructure expert Surya Raj Acharya. “There should be no other activities within its airspace.”
Indeed, Pokhara’s existing airport is already operating at maximum capacity with up to 40 domestic flights a day to Kathmandu, Jomsom, Bhairawa, Bharatpur, Simara, Biratnagar and Nepalganj. More flights are planned to Janakpur and Bhadrapur by private airlines.