Palungtar Airport in Gorkha in dreadful condition without any maintenance


Palungtar Airport in Gorkha in dreadful condition without any maintenance

November 10, 2016-Gorkha

Palungtar Airport which is situated in Palungtar, Gorkha has been in very dire condition for the recent years. The airport which was established as an airfield, has been closed for more than 40 years now due to the construction of Prithivi Highway connecting Gorkha and Pokhara. The locals of the Palungtar have invaded the place establishing houses in the airport area, making it a grazing field for their animals, playground for the children and many more.

The airport where Short Take off and Landing (STOL) aircrafts used to be operated has not seen any aircraft exchanging passengers from one place to another. With a runway length of 1097 meters which is quite short and a height of 457 meters above the sea level, the airport connects nearby districts like Tanahu, Lamjung, Manang and Mustang but is unable to facilitate the people of those remote districts.

The airport was quite active in its operating time promoting business and trade around the municipality, the operators couldn’t run the flights daily starting from 2029 B.S. due to vehicles being available for the remote districts nearby the airport. The airport which lies at the bay of the Marsyandi River saw some flights operating weekly till 2032 B.S. but the operations were completely closed after that.
Photo: RNAC Douglas DC-3 Dakota with Reg 9N-AAE; Credit:ATDB

But, the airport was quite useful during the earthquake that took place in April and while devastation was in greater rate in Gorkha, different helicopters landed in the Palungtar Airport for the provision of food, clothes and shelter in the confounded parts of Gorkha. Authorities had set up a base at the airport for relief distribution and materials stocked up at Pokhara and Gorkha airports was collected at the airport and distributed from there. Indian Army and Nepali Army distributed relief in Gorkha by using the airport. The airport which was established in 2017 B.S. has still potential of operating flights if maintained and repaired.

As per a source, ultralight flights will be launched from the airport after some time. Details about the process is still to come.

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