lukla airport

Lukla Tenzing Hillary Airport

Lukla airport, which is known as the most dangerous airport in the world. This airport is small but runways are always busy. With its short runway, quick change of weather, steep incline, this airport is known as one of the most challenging airports in the world. Lukla airport, which was renamed as the Tenzing Hillary Airport in 2008.  In the past 20 years, this is counted in the top 5 dangerous airports in the world. Strong wind, low lying clouds and extreme change of weather is the major factor that can cause somethings dangerous. Due to bad weather and sudden invisibility, flight cancellation should be done frequently. This airport has many incidents about the accident due to bad weather. So, the flight is risky during the offseason due to bad weather.

Lukla Airport Facts

  • Elevation: 2845 m | 9334 ft
  • Runway: Asphalt paved
  • Runway length: 527 m | 1729 ft
  • Runway width: 30 m | 98 ft
  • Gradient: 11.7 %
  • Air traffic service: Aerodrome Flight Information Service
  • Flight time: 6:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Number of flight per day: 50+

Most of the flight is done for the passenger who is here for observing the true beauty of the Everest region. Lukla is the starting point for this trek so a short and easy way to reach Lukla is by flight. Or you can choose a hike from Salleri to Lukla. But most of the trekkers like to travel through the flight. There is only a limited number of flights for cargo available in Lukla. Some of the names of the flights which helps you for transportation are:

  • Summit Air
  • Nepal Air
  • Simrik Air
  • Tara Air
  • Sita Air.

There is no much place for any other planes except four. Only four short takeoffs and landing twin otter plane at any time are available in Lukla. Plus, a couple of Helicopters can stay near the control tower which is 140 meters north.

Lukla Airport – No room for error

Date                                          Airlines                                          Call Sign                      Fatality

1973-10-15                     Royal Nepal Airlines                                  9N ABG                                             0

1991-06-09                     Royal Nepal Airlines                                 9N ABA                                             0

1992-09-26                      Royal Nepal Airlines                                9N ACI                                              0

2004-05-25                         Yeti Airlines                                            9N AFD                                            3

2004-10-01                         Sita Airlines                                             9N AHD                                           0

2008-10-08                         Yeti Airlines                                             9N AFE                                           18

2010-10-12                         Sita Airlines                                               9N AHB                                         0

2013-09-26                      Air Dynasty Helicopter                             9N AEX                                           0

2017-05-27                        Summit Airlines                                        9N AKY                                           2

Flight Cancellation

As it is known as the dangerous airport in the world because it is situated between several big hills and itself situated on the hill. In case there is a high possibility of bad weather, the flight can be canceled and postponed for the following day. If this happens then all the trekkers can’t have their International flight on time. There might be a delay of some days. In case your flight takes off that’s great. You can relax some days on Kathmandu and sight-seeing in different places of Kathmandu Valley. If the flight takes place on time, you won’t miss your international flight.

In case of long delay (flight cancellation due to bad weather can last up to 10 days) the only option to return is Helicopter charter from Lukla. This is expensive though it is one and the only option not to miss your international flight. Helicopter charter costs $2,000 to $2,500 per flight which has 5 seats for the passenger. However, if your flight is canceled you can claim back 100% money from your trekking agency or airlines that you have booked.

Tenzing Hillary Airport is also known as the gateway to the Everest Region. There are many trekking and expedition routes that start from Lukla Airport. Here are some best trekking routes start from Lukla:

  1. Everest Base Camp Trek
  2. Gokyo Lake Trek
  3. Three High Passes Trek
  4. Everest View Trek