Snowfall affects flight at Humla

Posted on by Biju Shrestha

Flight operation, to and from Humla airport has been disrupted due to snowfall at the region. One of the busiest airport of Far-Western Region Simikot Airport encountered snowfall from 10 in night on Thursday. The snow fall continued till 1 am.

The rainfall has halted flights to and from Nepalgunj and Surkhet causing trouble for the passengers as flights could not take place on Friday.

Normal lives in upper belt of the district have been affected due to snowfall and have also affected them as they are unable to migrate to lower warmer region. Snow have clotted at the airport.

According to the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for the airport, to operate the normal flight under the VFR (Visual Flight Rules) conditions the airport must have at least minimum visibility of 5000 meters along with 1500 feet ceiling for a fixed wing aircraft. Likewise for helicopters its 1000 meter visibility. Fixed wing aircraft are not allowed to operate at wind speed more than 10 knots.

Snow on a runway results decrease in the flight performance as it causes reduce in friction, reduces contrast, obscures runway markings, and creates hazards. Most mishaps occur during the landing phase, but snow is also known to bite pilots during takeoff and taxi operations.

Simikot Airport is located at an elevation of 9,751 ft (2,971 m) above mean sea level. The airport possess a Single asphalt runway of a length of 650 meters aligned to 010 degrees and 280 degrees serving as one of the country’s busiest domestic airport these days.

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