The small, landlocked country on the eastern border of the Himalayas has some of the most unique landscapes that can be quite difficult for seasonal pilots to navigate. Bhutan Airport is located 2,235 meters above sea level and the mountains surrounding the country peak at 5,500 meters, so it is a challenge for pilots to operate flights in the region with such a shifted region.
Here are some facts about the Bhutan airport, most difficult airport in the world, which you probably didn’t know.
1. Short runs
Typically, airport runways are at least 6,000 feet in length and are suitable for airplanes weighing less than approximately. 2,000,000 lbs and at least 8,000 feet for the larger aircraft. In addition, wide-body aircraft that carry huge fuel tanks require a runway of at least 10,000 feet and, in some cases, a take-off runway of at least 13,000 feet. However, Bhutan Airport has a runway only 2,000 (6,500 feet) long, so the airport can only accommodate smaller and medium planes, as larger planes landing in the country are out of the question. .
2. The most difficult flights
It is true that the bhutan airport is considered to be one of the most difficult airports in the world, in fact only a number of pilots are certified to land in the area due to its diverse and complex landscapes which can be quite difficult for regular pilots. The surrounding mountains which can reach 18,000 feet and the Bhutan airport which is located at an altitude of 7,364 feet are certainly a no-go area for inexperienced pilots.
The rugged and difficult terrain of the region affects and restricts the performance of the aircraft. Besides pilots sailing on smaller vessels, navigating mid-size aircraft would require making a critical decision during landing and take-off.
3. Meteorological restricted flight conditions
Not only is it difficult to fly airplanes in the bhutan airport, but the aircraft must also be operated on schedule. Flights to and from Bhutan Airport are only permitted in visual meteorological conditions, this means that there must be sufficient visibility of other aircraft and the surrounding terrain for the flight to receive a green signal.
Additionally, flight time has been limited to daylight hours only, from sunrise to sunset, so if you anticipate a windy or downpour day there is a huge possibility that the scheduled flight will be canceled.
4. No ILS system
Unlike other airports equipped with the Instrument Landing System (ILS) which guides planes sideways and vertically as they approach the runway, Bhutan Airport does not have such technology. So instead of 2 beams sent by the ILS that tell the pilot if they are up or down, left or right, the pilots at Bhutan airport will have to follow their own landing procedures designed by the pilots. experienced in the region. and aircraft manufacturer.
The procedures are strictly followed, respecting the speed and altitude determined at various checkpoints on the approach to the runway.
5. The fascinating sight
There is no doubt that Bhutan Airport is one of the most difficult and rugged terrain to fly an airplane. But, like two sides of a coin, the regions unique landscape is elegant and more picturesque than any other part of the world, the high altitude landlocked country is filled with natural beauties from the high mountains to the valley. deep dressed in colorful flowers.
Moreover, the rice fields of the country always change color depending on the season of the visit, so the flight to Bhutan airport can be difficult but it is also an experience of life.
6. Paro International, the first Bhutanese airport was built for a different reason
Paro International is Bhutan’s first airport which was established in 1968 with the help of the Indian Border Roads organization. At the time of its construction, Paro International Airport was only intended for Indian Army guard helicopter operations on behalf of the Bhutanese government.
The airport remained in service with the Indian military and was not used for commercial flights for 13 years.