Interesting facts about Lukla Airport - Himalayan Glacier

Interesting facts about Lukla Airport

Lukla, a small town at the foot of Mount Everest has one of the most dangerous airports in the world. Meanwhile, infamous Nepal’s Airport, Lukla has many interesting history and facts that make it unique from the rest of the airports of the world. The trekking route to Everest Base Camp starts from Lukla. So. it is the gateway, that takes you to the high pass of Everest, Gokyo Ri Lake, the famous Namche Bazaar and so.

Lukla airport is also known as Tenzing–Hillary Airport, and it is the gateway to Mount Everest. Actually, Lukla Airport was named Tenzing-Hillary Airport in 2008 to honor Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.  The first two confirmed ever to set foot on top of Mount Everest. And they also had contributed great effort to construct this airport.

Moreover, without any doubt, Lukla airport is an extremely small and busy airport, and thus it is consistently named as the world’s most dangerous airport.

Lukla Airport

Lukla Airport lies in between mountains. Additionally, what makes this airport termed “the most dangerous airport in the world” is the fact that it is located on the slope of the mountains at 9000 feet above sea level, with an incredibly short runway. The asphalt paved runway is only 1,500 feet long and 65 feet wide with a gradient of 12% from north to south.

What seems challenging about this airport is the weather factor. Bad weather is the strong reason behind the numerous cancellation of flights from and landing at Lukla. Evidently, we could frequently hear that the flights from Kathmandu are early in the morning only when the sky is clear.


Meanwhile, yes, there have been several accidents, the unexpectedly small terminal and no electrical power leaves no room for error, else the landing and take-off become riskier.

landing in bad weather always resulted in fatal crashes. Moreover, in case of good weather, the flight will be thrilling and enthralling. Enough with spectacular views of mountains and variegated landscapes of the Himalayas.

Interesting facts about Lukla Airport

  1. Lukla Airport got its name Tenzing-Hillary Airport after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first two men ever to set foot on top of Mount Everest. The 40 minutes flight from Kathmandu is the fastest way to Lukla with rewarding aero-views of majestic mountains.
  2. Before Aiport in Lukla was accessible, the only way to Lukla from Kathmandu was traveling by road, and almost a week (5 days) hiking from Jiri to Lukla.
  3. Sherpa people who are well known for their mountaineering skills were actively involved in the construction of the Airport.
  4. Lukla Airport has a short runway with its length of 527m. It can cause difficulty in the landing of the planes and even take-offs.
  5. You get a 15kg baggage allowance in a flight to Lukla.
  6. When flying from Kathmandu to Lukla, sit on the left side of the plane, and right side when flying back to Kathmandu. It will reward you with breath-taking views of the mountains. Indeed, it will be a scenic flight.
  7. Nevertheless, the landing starts from the north to the south and take-off starts from the south to the north of the runway. The plane will go round the mountain and land on an uphill runway. Similarly, the take-off plane will go downhill.
  8. The runway which is supposed to be crucial for passage is also used by pedestrians to cross through either side of the runway.
  9. There would be at least 50 flights or more per day in Lukla Airport.
  10. Last but not least, there are no air navigation or radar system; there is a use of radio communication for landing and take-offs.

Is it risky to fly to Lukla?

After reading all this, I could sense the only question that pops up in your mind: Is it really risky to fly to Lukla?

Well..! trust me, it is not that dangerous at all. It is true that the runway and its location adds up to the extremity of the airport. But places like Lukla give the real thrill of traveling, so it worth an attempt. In addition to that, it is the gateway flight if you are heading to Everest Base Camp or Gokyo Ri.

Himalayan Glacier Adventure and Travel Company
About the author

A leading adventure & tour operator in the Himalayas since 1992, Himalayan Glacier Adventure & Travel Company® is the #1 guiding adventure travel company on Mount Everest Base Camp and beyond with 98% success rate. Continuing its decades-old legacy, Himalayan Glacier is a little different from other adventure & tour operators. Each of our holidays is truly a tailor-made package which we design for all ages, groups, families & solo travelers. We have veteran mountaineering leaders who have been into this industry for several decades. So, we offer you complete choice and freedom to explore the real pleasure of traveling.

Leave a Reply

Planning a Trip?

We have a pool of travel experts working in this industry for more than a decade. Consult to get started.

Plan Your Trip
big mountain