Airports are the gateway of any country where people from all over the world constantly arrive and depart. These are also one of the busiest parts of any developing nation since hundreds of people are always in an airport.
The busiest airport in the world is Dubai International, which has a total seat of 4,964,168.
Like the busiest airport in the world, there are some busiest airports in Nepal too. These airports are the main entry points for anyone coming to Nepal or going away from it.
However, it is important to know that Nepal’s only operational international airport, the Tribhuvan International Airport, is the busiest in Nepal. Furthermore, all the other busy airports in Nepal are domestic airports.
So, let us look at a comprehensive list of Nepal’s busiest airports.
The Tribhuvan International Airport
The Tribhuvan International Airport is the only operational international-level airport in Nepal. It is also one of the busiest airports in Nepal. This airport is commonly known by the acronym TIA. This airport’s location is Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, in Bagmati Province.
Adorned with a tabletop runway, the airport has both international and domestic terminals. In addition, this airport connects more than 40 destinations in a staggering 17 countries. Nepal Airlines and Himalaya Airlines are the two international airlines operating from TIA. However, the number of domestic carriers is many.
If you want to go to Mount Everest and need a direct flight to Lukla, then depending upon that day’s weather and climate, frequent airplanes fly from Kathmandu to Lukla from Tribhuvan International Airport. Some operational airlines provide you with airplanes that give sight-seeing of the stunning Mount Everest.
The yearly traffic at Tribhuvan International Airport in 2019 was 7,327,042. The passenger movement in TIA for 2021 was 5,033,871, while the aircraft movement was 92,932.
And often, due to the heavy traffic, fog during the winter season, and many airlines operating simultaneously, the Government of Nepal built two new international airports in Nepal, Pokhara International Airport and Gautam Buddha International Airport.
The Pokhara Airport
Please do not get confused between Pokhara International Airport and Pokhara Domestic Airport. The international one has yet to operate but will cater to international and domestic flights, while the Pokhara Airport is only domestic. However, the Pokhara International Airport will eventually take over the Pokhara Airport and merge into one.
Did you know that Pokhara Airport started operating from the year 1958? Yes, this airport is old and still operating. But the airport is smaller and can hold only eight propeller planes at a time.
The Pokhara Airport is a gateway to Pokhara, a city of 599,504 individuals and 120,594 households. Any airplane you take from anywhere to Pokhara will land at the Pokhara Airport.
Pokhara is a massive tourist hotspot, so this airport is also one of the most important in Nepal, and hence it is also one of the busiest airports in Nepal.
This airport connects planes flying from Kathmandu to Jomsom and Manang. The yearly traffic at Pokhara Airport was 720,714 in 2019. The operating airlines in this airport are Sita Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Tara Air, Simrik Airlines, Yeti Airlines, and Buddha Airlines. The airport codes of this airport are IATA – PKR and ICAO – VNPK.
The Biratnagar Airport
The third busiest airport in Nepal, the Biratnagar Airport, is located in Biratnagar in Province No. 1. Biratnagar is also the capital city of Province 1 and is an industrial city. The exact location of this airport is around 5 kilometers or 3.10686 miles away from the main bazaar of Biratnagar.
The inauguration of this airport was done on July 4, 1958.
In addition, Biratnagar Airport is the hotspot of many airlines like Summit Airways, Nepal Airlines, Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Tara Air, Sita Air, Simrik Airlines, Shree Airlines, etc.
Did you know that Biratnagar Airport is aerodrome certified? Yes, you read that correctly. The Biratnagar Airport is aerodrome certified and the only other airport to get certified on this level after the Tribhuvan International Airport.
Many people going to the Eastern part of Nepal, such as Jhapa, Itahari, Inaruwa, and other Terai regions or a connection to the eastern hilly part of Nepal, utilize this airport. The IATA code of this airport is BIR. Also, the Biratnagar Airport is located at 74.972 meters or 245.94 feet. Furthermore, the location indicator of this airport is VNVT.
Finally, the Biratnagar Airport had a staggering air traffic of 596,453 in the year 2019, making it the third busiest airports in Nepal.
The Nepalgunj Airport
With air traffic of 453,433 in 2019, the Nepalgunj Airport is the fourth busiest airport in Nepal. Also, the number of passengers in the same year was 453,433. This airport is located in the southwestern Terai city of Nepal, Nepalgunj, also the hottest city of Nepal.
The Nepalgunj airport was established in 1961. Also, it is the third largest airport in Nepal. Also, it has the second-highest passenger movements and number of aircraft compared to all the other airports in Nepal.
The Nepalgunj Airport has been planned to be upgraded to an international airport in 2018. It is at an elevation of 165 meters or 540 feet above sea level. Airlines such as Buddha Air, Guna Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Saurya Airlines, Shree Airlines, Sita Air, Summit Air, Tara Air, and Yeti Airlines operate from this airport.
The Gautam Buddha Airport
The Gautam Buddha Airport is now known as the Gautam Buddha International Airport or simply Bhairahawa Airport. Although recently made, this airport was designed to serve as an alternate route to the Tribhuvan International Airport. The exact location of this airport is Bhaiarahawa.
Furthermore, since May 2022, the Gautam Buddha Airport has been working as an international airport and handling domestic aircraft. The international destinations this airport provides are from the airways and airlines such as Jazeera Airways, providing direct flights to Kuwait, and Nepal Airlines, providing seasonal flights to Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia.
Built in 1958, the Gautam Buddha Airport had yearly traffic of 388,378 in 2019, also making it the fifth busiest airport in Nepal.
The Bhadrapur Airport
The Jhapa district boasts a famous airport known as the Bhadrapur Airport. If you are unaware of the Bhadrapur Airport, you must know the Chandragadhi Airport. The exact location of this airport is 4.6 kilometers from the main part of Bhadrapur.
Did you know that Bhadrapur is the oldest municipality in Nepal? Yes, you read that right; because of this fact, the airport in this municipality is also one of the busiest airports in Nepal. The air traffic at this airport was 281,000 in 2019. So, it is the sixth busiest airport in Nepal.
Furthermore, Bhadrapur was established in 1963. Its runway is made of asphalt and has a length of 1524 meters or 5000 feet. This airport is 91.44 meters or 300 feet above sea level and is around 450 kilometers away from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.
Finally, the IATA code of the Bhadrapur Airport is BDP, and the ICAO code is VNCG. Buddha Air, Guna Airlines, Saurya Airlines, Shree Airlines, Sita Airlines, and Yeti Airlines are the major airlines operating from this airport. If you wish to visit Mount Kanchenjunga, Makalu Barun National Park, Ilam, or Siliguri, then Bhadrapur Airport can be your entry point.
The Bharatpur Airport
The yearly traffic of Bharatpur Airport was 170,734 in 2019, making it the seventh busiest airport in Nepal. This airport’s IATA and the ICAO codes are BHR and VNBP, respectively. The Bharatpur Airport provides a gateway to the beautiful city of Chitwan in the south central part of Nepal.
The exact location of the Bharatpur Airport of Nepal is 1.6 kilometers away from the main city of Bharatpur. It is located in the southwestern part of Bharatpur.
Furthermore, if you wish to visit the Chitwan National Park of Nepal and bask in the beauty of its rich wildlife and vegetation, then the Bharatpur Airport is the gateway to it. Buddha Air, Guna Airlines, and Yeti Airlines are the three main airlines operating from this airport.
The Dhangadhi Airport
The Dhangadhi airport is located in the far west southern city of Nepal, called Dhangadhi. Its ICAO and IATA codes are VNDH and DHI, respectively. It is located in a district called Kailali and is a gateway to the beautiful Sudurpaschim region of Nepal. It also provides airplanes that fly to the Rara airport of Mugu district.
Further, it also has occasional helicopters that fly you directly to Khaptad National Park. Established in 1958, the yearly traffic of Dhangadhi Airport in 2019 was 150,295 is also Nepal’s eighth busiest airport. The major airlines at this airport are Buddha Air, Nepal Airlines, Saurya Airlines, and Shree Airlines.
The Simara Airport
An airport located in Jitpur, Simara of Bara district of Nepal. This airport is the gateway to Birgunj, located in the Parsa district of Nepal. Birgunj is also the fifth-largest city in Nepal.
Established in 1958 and operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the Simara Airport is the ninth busiest airport in Nepal, with a yearly 2019 air traffic of 134,573.
The ICAO code of the Simara Airport is VNSI, and the IATA is SIF. It is a Buddha Air, Nepal Airlines, and Yeti Airlines.
The Tenzing-Hillary Airport
The Tenzing-Hillary Airport had a yearly traffic of 129,508 in 2019. Further, the number of passengers in 2019 was 129,508.
It is also known as Lukla Airport. It is located in Solukhumbu of Province No. 1 in Nepal, even though it lies in a remote mountainous region of Nepal. It is also one of the Most Extreme Airports in the world.
The Tenzing-Hillary Airport is your gateway if you want to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. You can get a direct flight to Kathmandu from here only in good weather, though.
So, these are all the busiest airports in Nepal.
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