Simikot Airport has been conducting reduced number of flights since past week due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions. Continuous rainfall at morning and night time has been the sheer factor for the less number of flights. Moreover, the thick fog and the cloud rising from the nearest rivers and surrounding the airport has become the main hindrance for flight operations.
Besides fog, cloud and rain, the aggressive wind has also been the barrier. Due to these circumstances, the passengers (sick people travelling to hospital, locals, tourists returning from Kailash Mansarovar trek and staffs) are experiencing strenuous situation.
As per the information from the airport, no any flights operated from Nepalgunj and Surkhet on 1st and 5th Bhadra, 2074 whereas only 6 flights happened each on 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th Bhadra. Likewise, only three flights (except helicopter) operated yesterday from Nepalgunj and Surkhet.
Operation in-charge of Simikot Airport Mr. Lila Prasad Shrestha said, “There is some probability of flight operations today at meantime however; the fog is surrounding the airport from east and south.” Minimum visibility of 5000 meters is required for fixed-wing flight operation but we have only 1500 meters of visibility currently, he added.
Simikot Airport located on Hilsa region recorded highest flight movement on June 9, 2017 due to the rapid flow of pilgrims to the journey to Kailash Mansarover, one of the best trekking destinations in the remote western part of Nepal but now the movement has plummeted due to bad weather phenomena.
Simikot airport is located at an elevation of 9,751 ft (2,971 m) above mean sea level. The airport has Single asphalt runway of a length of 650 meters aligned to 0100 degrees and 280 degrees serving as one of the country’s busiest domestic airport these days.