Image Source: Flickr (Petr Meissner)
Did you know that Lukla Airport is one of the most dangerous airports in the world? If not, the most dangerous airport in the world.
Lukla Airport perched on the slope of the mountains at 9000 ft above sea level is the starting point for every adventure in the Everest region, be it Everest Base Camp Trek, Gokyo Lakes Trek, or Three passes trek. It is 40-45 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The flight rewards spectacular views of the Himalayas, including the mighty Everest.
But make sure to acquire the left side of the plane when flying from Kathmandu to Lukla and right side, on your way back to Kathmandu. You will fly above the clouds and parallel to the Himalayas. Rest assured that you will thoroughly enjoy the flight.
There’s no way that you want to skip this flight to Lukla, the dangerous airport in the world- it is the quickest and the best way to start your adventure to Everest. But if you want to skip, you will have to travel by road, from Kathmandu to Jiri, and a couple of days of hiking to Lukla from Jiri. You can also take a 4WD to the village of Phaplu and walk uphill for a couple of days to Lukla.
Or, you can charter a helicopter to Lukla. But it will cost you a lot (in four figures.) A private helicopter tour to Lukla from Kathmandu carries four people, taking around 25 minutes to land at Lukla.
Despite the fact that it is consistently named the most extreme airport in the world, it is the busiest domestic airport in Nepal. Lukla’s only runway is among the shortest runways in the world- 1,729 feet long. The landing is enthralling, and takeoff is as exciting as a roller coaster.
Here are some interesting facts about Lukla Airport; you probably didn’t know:
- Lukla Airport is also known as Tenzing-Hillary Airport. It was built by the legend, sir Edmund Hillary in 1964.
- Sherpa, mountain-dwelling people, were actively involved in the construction of the airport.
- Lukla airport has a short runway-527m length with an 11.7% gradient.
- One of the interesting facts about Lukla Airport is that pedestrian also uses the runway.
- There are no air navigation or night operations at Lukla Airport.
- Although it is the dangerous airport in the world, there are at least 50 flights per day.
- Only certified pilots can fly the special- STOL-small planes (short takeoff and landing)
- A flight to Lukla from Kathmandu permits a 15kg baggage allowance for a passenger.
- Before the operation of Lukla Airport, the only way to reach Lukla was by traveling the road: Kathmandu to Jiri to Lukla.
- Good weather is imperative for a flight to/from Lukla. Weather in the Himalayas is unpredictable, which results in delays for at least 2 or 3 days.