The airport that reached Everest

Mount Everest, that mountain almost all of us know. One of the most difficult and dangerous to climb, but it is not a normal job for airplanes to carry climbers there as airport facilities are necessary. The idea of building an airport came from the Sir Edmund Hillary one of the first to reach the summit of mount Everest, he then decided to build the airfield in Khumbu, eastern Nepal, where most people start the ascend to Mount Everest Base Camp. In this way it will serve climbers and visitors on their route in the Himalayas.

This airport is the Lukla airport or LUA, it could be the most extreme and scary airfield to land in. Well, just see where it is located and how the runway leads towards a cliff to nothing, surrounded by a mountainous area. A place where clouds set over the airfield, the winds are changing, those, among other events, can happen and endanger flights.

A plane taking off from LUA. Source:

The scary characteristics in lie numbers; the length is 527 meters, taking into account that an average runway for airliners is 1,800 meters. But another fact is the airport is located at a height of 2,845 m over sea level, demanding a high performance of the aircraft engine at those elevations. Besides, the runway has a slope of 11.7%.

Landing and taking off at Tenzing–Hillary Airport: Source: wikipediacommons

there is a low probability of a successful go-around due to the terrain, there is a wall at the final of the runway when landing. The changing wind forces to cancel the landings, as well as the poor visibility, so a visual flight rules (VFR) is a mandatory condition to operate the airport.

Luckla covered in fog. Source:

Considering that climbing Everest is difficult, think that using this airport is challenging as well. It requires good pilot’s skills and good aircraft performance. Therefore, if you are looking for adrenaline this is a splendis place to start to reach Everest (always considering safety first).


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