Lukla Airport is a small airport in eastern Nepal. It is located 2800 meters above the sea level among the beautiful scenic high mountains of a small town; Lukla, in Khumbu, Solukhumbu district in Sagarmatha zone. Lukla Airport is also known as Tenzing-Hillary Airport, officially named in January 2008, after Sherpa Tenzing Norgay & Sir Edmund Hillary, the first explorers & adventurers who conquered the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. It has been renamed to mark & acknowledge their tiring efforts to make the construction of this airport possible.
Major Airlines operating from & to Lukla Airport
There are many 40 minutes, daily scheduled flights between Kathmandu & Lukla only during the day time for better visibility & in good weather conditions. Flights can be cancelled & delayed due to poor visibility & bad weather conditions at any time.
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Importance of Lukla Airport
For many decades, this small but very beautiful & unique airport of the world has been the only gateway to the scenic Khumbu Region & the world’s famous the Mount Everest. Actually this airport became famous just because of providing base camp to the Mount Everest climbers. Most of the international expedition teams start their upward journey from Lukla base camp.
No. 1 Most Extreme and Dangerous Airport: Lukla Airport
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Landing & Takeoff
The airport’s asphalt runway is just 1510 feet long & 66 feet wide, only fit for the take off & landing of small fixed wings aircrafts & helicopters. In fact, the runway strip is very short in length and width extending from north to south. Aircrafts can use runway marked 24 for take-offs at the southern end & runway marked 6 for landings only at the northern end. The following aircrafts can land & take-off easily from the Lukla airport.
- De Havilland Canada
- Dornier Do 228
- Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter
The apron has 4 stands for small aircrafts.
There is a helipad 140 meters near to control tower.
The airport is protected by a chain-link fence & is patrolled by the Nepalese police around the clock.
Is Lukla Airport Really Dangerous?
The airport in Himalayan city Lukla is cited by many people as one of the most dangerous airports in the world. But according to Mr. Wally Berg, who is the founder of Berg Adventures International & the chief organizer for Expedition Hanes-brands, the airport is beautiful & small otherwise it is like all the other airports in the world. Mr. Berg has flown safely to & from Lukla more than 40 times without any inconvenience.
Incidents and Accidents
Ever since the airport became operational, 10 major & minor airplane accidents have been reported. The first occurred on 15th October’ 1973 & the last on 28th September’ 2012. Luckily there were no deaths in 8 accidents out of the total 10 that occurred at the Lukla Airport.
- No landing aids other than air traffic service are available at the Lukla Airport.
- While taking off the runway goes downhill towards south & suddenly disappears into the deep valley.
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