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Pokhara Airport

15 Facts about Pokhara airport in Nepal

Pokhara Airport is a domestic airport in Nepal that serves the city of Pokhara and its surrounding areas. It is one of the busiest airports in the country, offering scenic flights and connections to various destinations. Here are 15 facts you need to know about Pokhara Airport:

Pokhara Airport was established on 4 July 1958 by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. It is located 5 km away from the city center of Pokhara, on the banks of the Seti River.

The Pokhara airport has a single runway that is 1,433 m (4,701 ft) long and 30 m (98 ft) wide, with an asphalt surface. The runway orientation is 04/22, with runway 04 being the preferred direction for landing and take-off.

The Pokhara airport has a small terminal building that can handle up to 250 passengers at a time. The terminal has basic facilities such as check-in counters, baggage claim, security screening, waiting area, and restrooms.

Pokhara airport is a hub for Tara Air, a subsidiary of Yeti Airlines, which operates flights to Jomsom, a popular destination for trekkers and pilgrims in the Annapurna region. Other airlines that serve Pokhara Airport include Buddha Air, Sita Air, and Summit Air.

The airport offers several recreational and sightseeing flights, such as ultralight aviation, paragliding, and helicopter tours. These flights provide stunning views of the Himalayan peaks, such as Machhapuchhre, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manas.

The airport is also a diversion airport for Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the main airport in Nepal, in case of bad weather or other problems. However, due to its short runway and crowded apron, flights may have to be re-diverted to other airports with even shorter runways.

The airport has faced several challenges over the years, such as congestion, safety issues, environmental concerns, and lack of expansion space. The airport has also witnessed some accidents and incidents, such as a collision between two planes in 1997 and a crash into a hill in 2002.

The airport is gradually being replaced by Pokhara International Airport, which is located 3 km (1.9 mi) east of the old airport. The new airport is expected to handle up to one million passengers per year and offer international flights to various destinations in Asia.

The new airport was first conceived in 1971 and the land acquisition process started in 1976. However, the project was delayed for several reasons, such as political instability, financial constraints, technical issues, and local protests.

The construction of the new airport finally began in April 2016, with an agreement between the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and China CAMC Engineering. The project cost around US$ 305 million, out of which US$ 215 million was provided by the Export-Import Bank of China as a preferential loan.

The new airport has a single runway that is 2,500 m (8,202 ft) long and 45 m (148 ft) wide, with a concrete surface. The runway orientation is 12/30, with runway 12 being the preferred direction for landing and take-off.

The new airport has a modern terminal building that can handle up to 600 passengers at a time. The terminal has advanced facilities such as automated check-in kiosks, baggage handling system, immigration counters, duty-free shops, and lounges.

Nepal Pokhara lake

The new airport officially began operations on 1 January 2023, with domestic flights transferring from the old airport. International flights are expected to start from April 2023 onwards.

The new airport is expected to boost tourism and trade in Pokhara and Nepal as a whole. It will also reduce travel time and cost for travelers who want to visit Pokhara and its attractions.

Nepal Pokhara sky view

The old airport will continue to operate STOL flights to Jomsom from its runway 04/22 until further notice. The rest of the land will be used for other purposes by the government or private sector.

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