Quake-stricken Nepal shuts airport to big jets amid runway damage

2015-05-03 10:19:15 GMT2015-05-03 18:19:15(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

KATHMANDU, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The earthquake-ravaged Nepal was on Sunday forced to shut its only international airport, the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), to large-size airplanes amid the runway damage.

Nepal officials at the airport said that the damaged runway can ' t handle the stream of large aircraft flying in to help.

All foreign countries planning to send heavy aircraft to Nepal are requested not to fly large-size airplanes to the country as the only runway of the country's international airport has suffer severe damage, airport officials told Xinhua.

General Manager of the TIA Birendra Shrestha said that a recent notice issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said the big aircraft from foreign countries of above 196 tons of weight are requested not to fly to Nepal.

"Medium and small-size aircraft which are below 196 tons of weight can fly to Nepal with humanitarian assistance, the general manager said.

Shrestha said three heavy aircraft from Canada and another four heavy military aircraft from the United States had been requested not to land at the TIA.

"We have given permission to four small-size and medium-size U. S. airplanes only," Shrestha added.

Airport officials said the airport's only runway had cracks due to arrival of heavy jetliners.

"We will only allow the small and medium-size aircraft as per the capacity of the airport," another official at the airport told Xinhua.

The 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, killing at least 7,056 people and injuring 14, 123 others.

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