Qamdo Bamda Airport
|Qamdo Bamda Airport
Chāngdū Bāngdá Jīchǎng
|IATA: BPX – ICAO: ZUBD|
|Serves||Qamdo, Tibet, China|
|Elevation AMSL||4,400 m / 14,436 ft|
|Qamdo Bamda Airport|
At an elevation of 4,334 m (14,219 ft) above sea level, Qamdo Airport was formerly the highest airport in the world. It was surpassed by Daocheng Yading Airport, with an elevation of 4,411 m (14,472 ft), on 16 September 2013. It still has the longest publicly used paved runway in the world, at 5.5 km (3.4 mi).
The low air density at this altitude makes a higher takeoff and landing true airspeed necessary, and therefore a longer runway. Also, the aircraft's engines produce less thrust at higher elevation than near sea-level.
The airport is 2.5 hours by mountain road from the county seat of Qamdo. The long commute is the result of no flat land closer to the city being available to construct an airport.
Visitors are warned before landing to move slowly on leaving the plane and that they may feel light headed or dizzy because of the thin air.