Lukla Airport of Nepal is the other name given to Tenzing Hillary Airport. Lukla Airport is the gateway to majestic Everest and its range of mountains. Tenzing Hillary Airport is in the Solukhumbu district of easter Nepa and is the most dangerous airport in the world. In fact, the airport is challenging to land at, and weather change is unpredictable. Different domestic airlines operate regular flights to Lukla. Nowadays, there is another alternative to reach get Lukla, which is via Ramecchap.

Lukla airport is not just an ordinary one but critical for all trekking communities wishing to kiss Everest Landscapes on foot. Tenzing Hillary Airport is the only easy gateway to Nepal’s Everest region.  Lukla airport of Nepal makes your journey short and easy if you plan to trek the Khumbu region. Everest Base Camp Trek is the best trek in the world, and this airport shortens the distance between you and your dream Everest. If you wish to skip the flight and trek the Khumbu region, this adds an extra week to your travel itinerary.

History of Lukla Airport

Lukla Airport in Lukla airport because of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first Mt. Everest climber in the world. Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary first climbed Mt. Everest. Furthermore, the Lukla airport was built in 1964 as Edmund Hillary invested his pocket money worth the US $ 2650. Runway got blacktopped in 2001. As the runway is blacktopped, landing and taking off the plane is easier.

The government of Nepal, valuing the contribution of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary, officially named the airport the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in 2008. Upon Lukla airport development, there has been a significant rise in the number of trekkers coming to trek and climb different peaks of Khumbu, including the world’s highest mountain, Everest. Thousands of trekkers climb and trek the best trekking routes in the world after landing at the Lukla airport of Nepal.

Dangerous Airport in the world

Lying at an altitude of 2860m above sea level and with only a length of 527meters, it is one of the most challenging airports, making it the most dangerous airport in the world. And another challenge is frequent weather changes.

Exceptionally trained pilots know the runway well and make perfect landings every time. Interestingly, there are absolutely no chances of overshooting in Tenzing Hillary Airport. Pilots are well trained in automated techniques used in Europe and America. In the lap of the Himalayas, one mistake, this airport claims life.

The new rule of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal(CAAN) includes curing the accidents, and only small planes and helicopters take off and land here. Only certified instructors and trained pilots who have completed 100 flights with STOLport are permitted to operate aircraft at Lukla Airport. Lukla Airport of Nepal is different from other airports because the runway is a 15-degree slope working as a speed controller for landing. And during take-off, you catch speed on a short runway.

Lukla Airport, Tenzing Hillary Airport, Current

Due to geographical difficulties, the airport remains the same. In fact, there is no chance of expansion, making it one dangerous airport. As traffic to Everest is increasing, a small airport is not sustainable, but allowing more climbers to climb each season is not a thoughtful policy from the government. And, weather difficulty comes to add more to the challenge.

Still, to this day, Lukla Airport serves small aircraft (Dornier Do 228 and DHC-6 Twin Otter) and helicopters. And the future is unlike to change. Three major airlines operate daily flights from Kathmandu/Ramecchap to Lukla.

  • Tara Air
  • Summit Air
  • Sita Air

Tara Air is one top flight operating Lukla. They work with 06 aircraft in different remote areas in Nepal. But Summit airlines gives more safety guarantees and comfortable seats. Summit is running with new aircraft having double engines.

A few years back, Civil Aviation banned single-engine planes in Nepal, creating more safe and more rewarding flights. Lukla Airport of Nepal sees its BOOM each year during March, April, May,  September, October, and November. Six months are the best time to trek and tour in Nepal.

Helicopter Flights to Lukla

You can fly directly in choppers from Kathmandu to Lukla if you want the easy way. If you are in a group, charter the flight, and if not, share the seat; that’s all.

Major helicopter companies operating in Lukla are:

  • Mountain Helicopter
  • Kailash Helicopter
  • Summit Helicopter
  • Simrik Helicopter
  • Air Dynasty
  • Heli Everest
  • Manang Air
  • Altitude Air

Lukla Airport Weather in Chart

The weather in Lukla is unpredictable. The weather changes within minutes, making things even more complicated. Geographical difficulty in the hilly region makes it more challenging to land the aircraft. Flight returns to either Ramechap Manthali Aiport to Kathmandu.

Rainfall and thick cloud are some reasons for flight cancellation in the Summer season. And during winter, snowfall and fog are reasons for flight postpones. Flight take off from only one direction, and the aircraft returns to the base station if entering windows get fog blocked.  Lukla still uses Visual Flight Rules(VFR).

Monthly weather of Lukla Airport of Nepal

Month Average High Temperature Average Low Temperature
January – 0.50 Degrees -18 Degrees
February 1.90 Degrees -16.30 Degrees
March 4.70 Degrees -12.10 Degrees
April 8.40 Degrees – 7.40 Degrees
May 11.70 Degrees 3.3 Degrees
June 15 Degrees 02 Degrees
July 4.40 Degrees 3.90 Degrees
August 13.30 Degrees 3.30 Degrees
September 11.40 Degrees 1 Degrees
October 8.9 Degrees -6.75 Degrees
November 5.6 Degrees -11.70 Degrees
December 3.3 Degrees -16.10 Degrees

Hotels near the airport

Lukla has plenty of hotels near the airport. Hotel accommodation is not the problem in Lukla. And it depends on your budget and where you want to stay. The rate ranges from US $8 to the US $100 per night. Some have air conditioning too. Hot Showers and Luxury Rooms are some amenities you can find here in Lukla.

If you are coming to Nepal during peak season, please make a reservation so that you don’t have to search for hotels while trekking in the Himalayas. Room and meals are charged separately. The hotel offers all meals of the day and rooms with other facilities.

All hotels don’t offer hot showers; please ask before you make any bookings. It is good to start and end your trekking experience with hot showers.

Rooms are basic, and upgrading costs you some more. Most of the hotels here in the mountains are family-run.

Some hotels near Lukla Airport are:

  • Khumbu Lodge and Restaurant
  • Hilltop Lodge and Restaurant
  • La Villa Sherpani Lukla
  • Yeti Mountain Home
  • Hikers Inn Lukla
  • Hotel Lama

ATM, Restaurant And Hospital In Lukla

As you travel to Nepal’s mountainous region, facilities are limited.  Even though modern facilities are missing in Lukla, you will get to withdraw money from ATMs and get medical help if needed. Some banks providing service here in Lukla are Nepal Bank, Rashtriya Banijya Bank, and Nepal Investment Bank.

For the evening meals here in Lukla, you can go to restaurants in Lukla. There are a variety of restaurants offering different menus. There is even a Starbucks coffee in Lukla for all coffee lovers.

If, by any chance, you forgot to purchase medicines here in Kathmandu, you can grab them from Lukla. But the price you pay here in Lukla is not the same as in Kathmandu.

Forbes, the most dangerous airport in the world