Lukla Airport moving on with escalating frequency of flights

Lukla airport, one of the most extreme airports in the world has been conducting more than 40 flights a day due to the peak travel season.  The airport which is the gateway to Everest conducts more than 100 flights including fixed-wing and helicopter operation in peak season.

As per the official from Lukla, the weather these days is calm with some snowfall at the periphery of Lukla. The flight operation is normal with average of 40 flights per day. At present, flight movements at Lukla have been observed in every 5-6 minutes interval.

Since the winter season has already begun, tourists have started to return from Lukla which is another reason for the congestion in flights. The Lukla airport chief reported that around 800 tourists have been moving in and out from Lukla. Besides, Lukla airport is also experiencing busy schedules due to cargo flights and heli-operation.

However, Lukla which is still one of the most extreme airports in the world, pilots definitely have to face some challenges which include rugged terrain, small tarmac and short runway with no option for overshooting or go-around. In a documentary episode of the History Channel, Lukla was considered to be the most extreme airport in the world.

Only aircraft like Twin Otter, Dornier 228, LET-410, Pilatus porter which are specially designated for STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) flights fly there.

Lukla airport is situated at an elevation of 9380 feet above sea level. The fact about Lukla airport is that the runway length is only 1600ft and it’s in the gradient of 12 degrees. Many fatal incidents happened at Lukla due to its vibrant terrains, unpredictable weather phenomena and challenging approach. The latest air crash at Lukla Airport is Summit Air’s Let L-410 cargo flight in which two pilots died and an airhostess was saved luckily. The investigation report of the fatal incident is yet to be disclosed.

 

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