Non-towered airports of Nepal

Photo: ATC Tower Chandragadhi Domestic Airport

Non-towered airports of Nepal

January 3, 2017- Kathmandu

A non-towered airport is an airport with no functioning tower, or air traffic control unit. The vast majority of the world’s airports are without control towers and even the airports which are controlled operate as non-towered during off hours, characteristically at night.

An airport is facilitated with a tower when the traffic volume at an airport gets too high for safe and efficient operations, or when the mix of aircraft types and speeds becomes too large.

Non-towered airports in Nepal mostly lie under uncontrolled. In that case, some or all aircraft arriving and departing need clearances from a remote air traffic control unit, such as terminal or center control, even though there is no control tower handling landings and takeoffs.

Pilots may be able to get those clearances by radio, by phone, or through a company dispatcher or local Flight Service Station, in some cases, departing aircraft (IFR or VFR) take off and level out below the floor of controlled airspace, then radio for a clearance before ascending more.

Some countries form low-altitude VFR corridors for non-towered airports in vast urban areas so that VFR arrivals and departures can duck controlled airspace completely.

Even though they do not have control towers, many non-towered airports have radio operations such as UNICOM to support aircraft arriving, departing, or steering on the ground.

These radio operators have no power to give aircraft clearances or instructions, but they can issue advisories to let them know about weather conditions, runway conditions, traffic, and other concerns.

Hazards are generated by fiasco to use radios to report locations and targets when operating inside the airspace, which can lead to collisions among aircraft unaware of each other.

Some pilots fail to use the precise runway at non-towered airports. Many airports in Nepal are located in high elevation including the runways.

So, in such case, aircraft get skidded off are get away from the center line of the runway.

Out of 48 aerodromes in Nepal, 34 are manned, 25 are uncontrolled manned and 14 are unmanned.

The ATC provided airports, which are usually called controlled airports, are ten in number and include Kathmandu, Janakpur, Bhairahawa, Pokhara, Surkhet, Nepalgunj, Biratnagar, Chandragadhi, Simara and Bharatpur.

All the airports located in these places have an ATC control up to 20 nautical miles.

After that, the pilot has to soar on its own even tackling the controlled flight into terrain (CFIT).

The airspace also has class in which the airspace C comes under ATC service while airspace G comes under non-towered. Pilots have power to take decision disregarding any rules and regulations under flight.

Under the uncontrolled aerodromes, no flight plan is necessary.

And on the VFR routes, the navigation is done by pilot and dead recognition systems.

Likewise the pilot has to ensure the weather condition and watch out if the routes have to be changed.

When it reaches around the non-towered airport, the pilot informs the ground ATS which provides information about the traffic and weather and then the pilot executes as per the information.

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