Lukla Airport progressive towards introducing Runway Lights


Tenzing-Hillary Airport, named as the most extreme airport in the world located in Lukla, a remote region of the country and also the gateway to Everest has been progressive towards upgrading its services.

Airport Chief, Yogendra Kunwar, alleged in a sentence that “We are presently working to upgrade the face of the airport and enhance the service provided. The budget for the installation of the runway lights has been approved so the existing runway will have 42 Runway Edge lights and 12 Threshold lights (6 on Each Side) which are anticipated to be in operation by coming September, this year”.

The authorities have said they have planned to add solar panels due to the insufficient electricity supply at the airport. 11 Kw of solar panel will be added to facilitate the Airport Official Building and Air Traffic Control (ATC) Control Tower. Likewise, 10.5 kW of solar panel on Terminal Buildings on the same time they will also be adding Closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) surveillance system at the airport premises. The project will be accomplished with the collaboration of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The JICA few years back on the airport had also added Precision approach path indicator (PAPI) and Visual approach slope indicator (VASI) but both the lights did not come into operation till date after the installation due to the odd sensation of traveling uphill of the runway with a gradient of 12 percent.

PAPI and VASI are the lights installed on the ground near the runway to provide the information for the approaching aircraft if it is on the glide slope or off it. This shows the sheer negligence of authority and rises a big question on how capable is the survey team and has completed the survey report for the installation of lights which didn’t came in operation.

Various international organizations over the world have listed the alpine runway strip as the most extreme due to its short length, geographical remoteness and the notoriously unpredictable weather.

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

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