Top 5 Dangerous Airports in Nepal

Recent Update of Pokhara Airport: Yeti Airlines crashed during landing in Pokhara Airport

A Yeti Airlines aricraft flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara with total 72 people (68 ppassenger & 4 crew including pilot) onboard, has crashed in Pokhara of Kaski district on Sunday morning at 10:50 AM. The plane took off from Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:30 AM today.

The 9N ANC ATR 72 aircraft had four crew, two pilot, two air hosteses aboard, Yeti Airlines Spokesperson, Sudarshan Bartaula was quoted as saying in RSS. January 1, Kathmandu. 62 bodies have been removed from the plane crash site in Pokhara till now (Sunday 4 pm).

The rescued bodies are being taken to Gandaki Hospital and they will be identified and handed over to their relatives after post-mortem. The plane of Yeti Air with 68 passengers and 4 crew members fell into the gorge of the Seti River in Pokhara. 

Pokhara Plane Crash

Pokhara Plane Crached Recent Updates: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has informed that 68 people have been confirmed dead in the accident that happened on Sunday morning. There were 72 people on the plane including 4 crew members. According to the authority, there are 25 women, 37 men, 3 children and 3 infants.

More Updates: Know More About Pokhara Airport & Flight Ticket

A Timeline of Crash Events; Deadly Aircraft Accident Occurred in Mountainous Nepal

  • With 72 people on board, the plane was traveling from Kathmandu, the country's capital, to Pokhara when it crashed.
  • A passenger plane crashed in Nepal on Sunday morning, causing the deaths of 66 passengers.
  • When the plane crashed, it was en route from Kathmandu, the country's capital, to Pokhara. A vibrant tourist destination, Pokhara is located 124 miles (200 kilometers) west of Kathmandu.
  • According to Yeti Airlines spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula, there were four staff members among the 72 passengers traveling on the twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft. A spokesperson for the Nepal police told Al Jazeera that 66 dead had so far been removed from the scene and that no survivors had been discovered.
  • The flight's operator, Yeti Airlines, stated there were 72 passengers and four crew members on board. One Australian, one French, one Argentinian, four Russians, five Indians, two South Koreans, and one traveler from Ireland were among the 15 international nationals, according to an airport official.
  • The 15-year-old twin-propeller plane was flying from Nepal's capital Kathmandu to Pokhara, a major starting point for international trekkers and pilgrims on their journey to the Himalayan mountains.
  • Just 10 to 20 seconds before it was scheduled to land at the recently opened Pokhara international airport, the plane crashed on the banks of the Seti Gandaki river after taking off at 10:30 a.m. from Kathmandu on Sunday morning.
  • According to a government statement, Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has convened an urgent cabinet meeting in response to the jet crash.
  • He wrote on Twitter, "I am profoundly pained by the unfortunate and fatal tragedy of Yeti Airlines' ANC ATR 72, which was carrying people on a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. I truly request that security officers, all government agencies in Nepal, and the general populace start a successful rescue effort."
  • The government has established a commission to look into the crash. Responders have already arrived and are tackling the fire. All agencies are currently concentrating on extinguishing the fire and saving the passengers, according to local official Gurudutta Dhakal.
  • According to Aviation Safety Network, the accident is the deadliest in Nepal since March 2018, when a US-Bangla Dash 8 turboprop flight from Dhaka crashed on landing in Kathmandu, killing 51 of the 71 persons on board. In May, a Tara Air-owned aircraft went down less than 20 minutes after departing from Pokhara.
  • Since 2000, at least 309 people have perished in helicopter or plane crashes in Nepal, which is home to eight of the world's 14 tallest mountains, including Everest, where the weather is unpredictable and dangerous.

The most dangerous airports in Nepal paves the way of showing Nepal as Hilly and mountainous country. All these airports are situated in dangerous places like in the hills, the lap of mountains, and also in the hard to reach kinds of places. These airports are at extreme heights which can be hard to believe as well. Nepal is the landlocked country with hills and mountains surrounding it. Because of which it has no connections with seas and oceans. It makes the only way to reach Nepal for other continents’ people, the Airway. Arriving at different countries and moving to the country through roadway can also be done, but is not much recommended.

Nepal has only one international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport. This airport carries full facilities for staying, carriage of goods, and other appreciable services. But there are some airports which are in such rural places where even carrying foods and housing is difficult. In such airports, there is a high chance of life risk because of weather conditions and vast landscapes. Because of which, only most experienced and high caliber pilots are directed for the flights in these regions.

Here are the 5 most dangerous, extreme, scariest, and hairiest airports in Nepal. These airports come under this list as they are located on high altitudes, have short runways, and the landings and fly-over are much more challenging.

1. Lukla Airport

Lukla Airport, also known as Tenzin Hillary Airport is the airport located in Lukla in Khumbu region of Solukhumbu district in Eastern Nepal. It is rated the most dangerous airport in the world for over 20 years. Despite knowing it as the Dangerous Airport, it is very famous too, as it is the gateway to Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world; i.e. Mount Everest Trek, Expeditionand climbing to its Basecamp and other areas begin from flight to this airport. This airport is in the elevation of 2,845m (9,334ft) with the runway 527m (1,729ft) x 30m (98ft) including 11.7% gradient. There remain daily flights from Kathmandu to Lukla and vice-versa, but in the windy, cloudy days, the airport remains closed or flights are postponed/delayed. The airport remains patrolled by Nepal Armed Police and Civil Police in order to make the place secure and dependable, but only in case to avoid non-human behaviors.

This airport was built by Edmund Hillary in 1964 in farmlands buying their lands in 2650 US dollar. Initially, the runway was not paved until 2001. As it was the attempts of Sir Hillary to facilitate Mount Everest visitors, the airport was named under their names (Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay Sherpa) as Tenzin Hillary Airport, who were the first Mount Everest successful climbers.

2. Simikot Airport(Humla Airport)

Simikot airport is the airport located at Simikot, headquarter of Humla district in Karnali region of Nepal. It is the main gateway for the tourists, both indoor and outdoor, for visiting the mountains like Mount Kailash and lake-like Manasarovar from Nepal side. They fly to Simikot and pave their way to these places lying in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region via International border at Hilsa. It lies at an elevation of 2,818m (9,246ft) above sea level with the coordinates of 29o58’16’N 081o49’08’E. The landscape is vast and low services (especially transportation, food, electricity) are available in this place because of which airport facilitates as a whole journey in the whole district of Humla.

The airport runway is 549m (1,801ft) long. The runway along with the parking areas and terminals has been recently improvising from its past conditions. The condition of the place is improving with more and more services and essential infrastructures.

3. Talcha Airport(Mugu Airport)

Talcha airport is also one of the most dangerous airports in Nepal located in Rara National Park of Mugu district in Nepal. It lies on the land filled with snow (most of the time) at an altitude of 2,735m with latitude 29o43’49N and longitude 82o30’55E. The main aspect that makes this heavenly place dangerous is the land filled with snow in all sides as the plane can slip away, or engine can stop working or many other risky situations can occur during or before the flight.

4. Mustang Airport(Jomsom Airport)

Mustang Airport, also known as Jomsom airport is a STOL airport residing in the Mustang district on the bank of Kali Gandaki River. It is the gateway to Mustang district which includes Jomsom, Kagbeni, Tangbe, Lo Manthang, and all the way to Muktinath temple (Popular pilgrimage for Nepalese and Indians). It resides at an elevation of 2,736m (8.976ft) above sea level with its runway 06/24 which measures 739m (2,424ft) x 20m (66ft). Airport also provides Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) on VHF frequency. The threshold (THR), Runway Designation, Touch Down Zone (TDZ), and Central Lines are also marked. Re-fueling facility is not available.

There are daily flights to this airport in clear weather. But during changing visibility, cloud cover and high winds, flights may get delayed or airport may remain closed. While flying through this region, beautiful view of the gorge like Kali Gandaki Gorge, mountain peaks like Dhaulagiri (8,167m or 26,795ft) and Tukuche (6,920m or 22,703ft) on the west and Nilgiri Central (6,940m or 22,769ft) and Annapurna (8,091m or 26,545ft) on the east can be observed. The whole area remains southerly windy after a mid-morning. The airport is available throughout the year but visibility does not remain adequate for VFR (Visual Flight Rules) about 15% of the time. So the airport flights are scheduled in the early morning when wind speed is low and visibility is good.

5. Dolpa Airport

Dolpa Airport, also known as Juphal Airport is another hilarious airport in Nepal residing at an altitude of 2,499m (8,200ft) in the place named Juphal. It lies in Dolpa district in Province No. 6 in Nepal. It is the only airport in this district with a runway designated 15/33 measuring 663 by 30 meters (2,175ft x 98ft). At first, the airport runway was graveled but in 2017 it was turned into blacktopped with the smooth surface.

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Binod Sapkota

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