Paro Airport

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Not to be confused with Faro Airport.
Paro International Airport
Paro Airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Department of Civil Aviation
Serves Thimphu and Paro District
Location Paro District
Hub for Druk Air
Elevation AMSL 2,230 m / 7,300 ft
Coordinates 27°24′32″N 089°25′14″E / 27.40889°N 89.42056°E / 27.40889; 89.42056Coordinates: 27°24′32″N 089°25′14″E / 27.40889°N 89.42056°E / 27.40889; 89.42056
PBH is located in Bhutan
Location within Bhutan
Direction Length Surface
m ft
15/33 2,000 6,562 Asphalt

Paro Airport (IATA: PBHICAO: VQPR) is the only international airport of Bhutan. The airport is located 6 km (3.7 mi) from Paro in a deep valley on the bank of the river Paro Chhu at an elevation of 2,200 m (7,200 ft).

With surrounding peaks as high as 5,500 m (18,000 ft) it is considered one of the world's most challenging airports,[2] and as of October 2009, only eight pilots in the world are certified to land at the airport.[3][better source needed] Flights at Paro are allowed under visual meteorological conditions only and are restricted to daylight hours from sunrise to sunset.[4]

Bathpalathang Airport in Bumthang district and Yongphulla Airport in Trashigang District are two other airports in the country.[5] The Royal Bhutanese Government's 10th Five Year Plan (which covers 2008–2013) includes the building of one more domestic airport at Gelephu in Sarpang District.[6]

The second international airport project, which was planned for construction at the Gelephu site, was downgraded to a domestic airport project in October 2008.[7] The Bhutanese Department of Civil Aviation indicated in January 2010, that the domestic airport at Gelephu may have provisions to be expanded into an 'all weather' airport, capable of receiving international traffic in the future. Construction is due to start in late 2010, with the airport due to start operations in June 2011.[8][9]


The airport has a single, 1,964 m (6,444 ft) asphalt runway.[1] The Airport's facilities include: one passenger terminal with four check-in desks, one gate, one cargo terminal and two aircraft hangars.

In 2002, the airport handled 37,200 passengers and 91,000 tonnes of cargo.

In 2012 it was reported that 181,659 passengers used the airport.[10]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Druk Air is the national flag carrier airline of Bhutan and has its base at Paro Airport. Buddha Air became the first international airline to operate charters to Paro in August 2010.[11] Tashi Air is Bhutan's first private airline and was started in December 2011.

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Bhutan Airlines Jakar, Trashigang (both suspended)[12] Domestic
Bhutan Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Kathmandu, Kolkata,[13] International
Buddha Air Charter: Kathmandu International
Druk Air Jakar, Trashigang Domestic
Druk Air Bagdogra, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Delhi, Dhaka, Gaya, Guwahati, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Singapore International

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Paro – Vqpr". World Aero Data. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Cruz, Magaly; Wilson,James; Nelson, Buzz (July 2003). "737-700 Technical Demonstration Flights in Bhutan". Aero Magazine (3): 1; 2. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Farhad Heydari (October 2009). "The World's Scariest Runways". Travel & Leisure. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Paro Bhutan". Air Transport Intelligence. Reed Business Information. 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Gyalsten K Dorji (19 December 2011). "On Drukair 's historic flight". Kuensel. Retrieved 18 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Tshering Palden (1 September 2009). "Domestic air service to take wing soon". Kuensel. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Tenzing Lamsang (9 October 2008). "Gelephu Int'l Airport – Now A Domestic One". Kuensel. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  8. ^ Sonam Pelden (8 January 2010). "Groundwork begins for taking to the air". Kuensel. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Tashi Dema (25 June 2010). "Land hurdle crossed". Kuensel. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Buddha Air in service Bhutan Broadcasting Service, 24 August 2010.
  12. ^ Dorji, Gyalsten (3 October 2013). "Tashi's Airbus A320 lands". Kuensel Online. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  13. ^ JL (17 August 2013). "Bhutan Airways to Start Kolkata / Bangkok Service from October 2013; Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates". Retrieved 5 October 2013. 

External links[edit]