1) Leh airport, also known as Kushok Bakra Rinpoche Airport, serves Leh, the capital of Ladakh, a union territory of India.
2) At 3,256 meters (10,682 feet) above sea level is one of the highest commercial airports in the world.
3) The airport is named after Kushok Bhakra Rinpoche, a revered Ladakh Buddhist monk and scholar who played a key role in promoting the region.
4) Leh Airport has a single 3,000-meter (9,800-foot) paved runway that can accommodate medium-sized aircraft.
5) It is a key gateway to the scenic region of Ladakh, known for its stunning landscapes, monasteries and adventure tourism. Due to its high altitude and rugged terrain, Leh airport is subject to strict policies and regulations. Pilots need special training and qualifications to fly to this airport.
6) Located in the middle of the Himalayas, the airport offers breath taking views during takeoff and landing ,making it a favourite among aviation enthusiasts.
7) Leh airport is well connected to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Srinagar and Jammu with regular domestic flights by multiple airlines.
8) It is an important lifeline for the people of Ladakh, especially in the winter when roads are blocked by heavy snow. Airports have basic passenger facilities such as terminal buildings with check-in counters, security checkpoints, baggage claim, and waiting areas.
9) Leh airport has customs and immigration facilities, allowing international travellers to complete immigration and customs formalities directly at the airport.
10) The airport has recently been expanded and renovated to accommodate the growing number of tourists visiting Ladakh. Upgrades include new terminal buildings and improved infrastructure.
11) Due to its popularity as a tourist destination, the airport is peak season during the summer when the weather is favourable for travel.
12) Leh airport is prone to weather disruptions, especially in winter when heavy snow and poor visibility can cause flight cancellations and delays.
13) The airport plays a key role in facilitating tourism, trade and connectivity in remote areas of Ladakh, contributing to the economic development of the region.
Text by Kunal Mahure