Facts about Tenzing Hillary Airport (Lukla Airport Most Dangerous Airport)

Facts about Tenzing Hillary Airport (Lukla Airport)
Lukla
Lukla, with the elevation of 2860m at Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality of Solukhumbu District, is a small settlement in the base of Mount Everest. Lukla means a place with many goats and sheep, but nowadays few are found in the area. Lukla is a popular place for visitors of the Everest Region. Lukla is settled with shops and teahouse serving to its visitors. It is a gateway for entering the Everest Region. Trekkers and mountaineers visiting Khumbu Region for expedition or trekking stay at Lukla for acclimatizing and exploring the surroundings.

Lukla, Gateway to Everest Trekking

Lukla Airport

Lukla Airport (10th most Dangerous Airports in the world)
Lukla is also popular by the airport called Lukla Airport. Lukla airport was named in January 2008 by Tenzing-Hillary Airport in honor of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary who completed the summiting the almighty Mt. Everest, 8848m heightened Giant peaks of Himalaya, first persons confirmed to have reached the summit, and their effort to construct the airport.
Lukla Airport is the world’s most dangerous airport as a program titled “Most Extreme Airports” broadcasted on “History Channel” in 2010. This airport is so known and popular due to the only way to accessing the Everest Region otherwise by walking from Jiri to Lukla for more than 5 days. 

History of Tenzing Hillary Airport

Lukla Airport

The airport was established in the mid-’60s (1964) under the supervision of Sir Edmund Hillary. When locals did not give their farmland, the structure was built in its current position. Until 2001, the airport’s runway was not paved but it was paved with asphalt. 

More about the Lukla Airport
The airport is accessible to a small fixed-wing with short takeoff and landing aircraft and helicopters. 
The runway Tenzing-Hillary Airport is 527 m (1,729 ft) × 30 m (98 ft) with an 11.7% gradient. The airport's elevation is 9,334 ft (2,845 m). It is used for passenger flights, transporting most of the building materials and cargo to Lukla and other towns and villages to the Everest region, as there is no road to this region till. Arriving and departing aircraft must have to use a single runway. Beyond the northern end of the runway have immediate terrain and at the southern end of the runway, a steeply angled drop into the valley below.


Runway of Lukla Airport

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal sets high standards, due to the difficulties of successfully landing at the airport, for which only experienced pilots, who completed at least 100 short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) missions, have over one year of STOL experience in Nepal and completed ten missions into Lukla with a certified instructor pilot, are allowed to land at the airport.
Although the airport is available throughout the year, due to visibility and climate problems, the airport is close almost half of the time during the monsoon season with a consequent cancellation of 50% of flights.
The Government of Nepal has a plan to expanding the runway and terminal and constructing of new five helipads.

Summary

  • Lukla Airport named as Tenzing-Hillary Airport in 2008 for the honor of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first two confirmed ever to set foot on top of Mount Everest and effort to construct the airport. 
  • Another only way to reach Lukla from Kathmandu is traveling by road, and almost a week (5 days) hiking from Jiri to Lukla.
  • The people of Lukla and the area, Sherpa peoples, were directly involved in constructing the airport. 
  • With short runway with its length of 527m, difficulty in the landing of the planes and even take-offs occur. 
  • Weight up to 15kg baggage is allowed on a flight to Lukla.
  • Sitting on the left side of the plane while flying from Kathmandu to Lukla, and right side when flying back to Kathmandu rewards you with breath-taking views of the mountains. 
  • The runway from the north to the south, landing starts and from the south to the north, take-off starts.
  • The runway is also used by pedestrians to cross through either side of the runway.
  • More than 50 flights a day in Lukla Airport is done.
  • There is only use of radio communication for landing and take-offs and haven’t air navigation or radar system.

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