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Potholes on airport runway spell trouble for Nepal tourism

Published on Aug 23, 2013 5:27 PM

KATHMANDU (REUTERS) - Nepal has asked foreign airlines not to land heavily-loaded wide-body aircraft at the Himalayan nation's international airport, aviation authorities said on Friday, after potholes were found on the runway before the annual influx of mountain-going tourists.

More than two dozen foreign airlines operate regular flights from Asia and the Middle East to Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest. Six airlines fly wide-body planes into the capital, Kathmandu.

Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, head of the state-owned Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, said a request had been sent to all foreign airlines to switch to narrow-body aircraft or to reduce payloads as authorities filled the holes.

It was not immediately clear how long it would take to eliminate the potholes, discovered last week.

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