Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport

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Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport
IXL Front 2010.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerIndian Air Force
OperatorAirports Authority of India
ServesLeh
LocationLeh, Ladakh, India
Elevation AMSL3,256 m / 10,682 ft
Coordinates34°08′09″N 077°32′47″E / 34.13583°N 77.54639°E / 34.13583; 77.54639Coordinates: 34°08′09″N 077°32′47″E / 34.13583°N 77.54639°E / 34.13583; 77.54639
Map
IXL is located in Ladakh
IXL
IXL
IXL is located in India
IXL
IXL
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 2,752 9,028 Asphalt
Statistics (April 2019 - March 2020)
Passenger movements7,63,042 (Decrease7.1)
Aircraft movements5982 (Increase10.2%)
Cargo tonnage1695 (Increase4.5%)
Source: AAI[1][2][3]

Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IATA: IXL, ICAO: VILH) is an airport in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, India. It is the 23rd highest commercial airport in the world at 3,256 m (10,682 ft) above mean sea level. The airport is named after 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, an Indian statesman and monk, whose Spituk Monastery is in direct vicinity to the airfield.

Military use[edit]

Due to the presence of mountain winds in the afternoon, all flights take off and land in the morning. The approach is challenging as it is unidirectional and has high terrain towards the eastern end of the airport. Airport security is tight with Indian Army patrols. Due to its location in between the Himalayas, the approach to Leh Airport has been named as one of the world's most scenic approaches.[4]

Civilian use[edit]

Civil aviation enclave[edit]

In February 2016, it was reported that the Indian Air Force has handed the airport to Airports Authority of India and AAI will expand it for civilian purposes.[5] But those reports of IAF vacating the entire air base were dismissed by Ministry of Defence and Leh Deputy Commissioner. They clarified that the IAF would vacate only a small part of land for construction of a new terminal.[6][7][8]

Construction of new terminal began in February 2019 with schedule completion in September 2021.[9]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport
AirlinesDestinationsRefs.
Air IndiaChandigarh, Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar[10]
Go First[11] Delhi[12]
IndiGoDelhi[13]
SpiceJetDelhi, Srinagar[14]
VistaraDelhi[15]

Cargo[edit]

AirlinesDestinationsRefs.
SpiceXpress Delhi[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-III" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-III" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-IV" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  4. ^ Oscar Boyd (21 October 2017), Highest Airports in the World: Landing in Leh (Air India) | 4K
  5. ^ "IAF to vacate Leh airport, to develop base at alternate site". 6 February 2016.
  6. ^ "No plans to vacate Leh air base: IAF". 9 February 2016.
  7. ^ "New terminal to be built at Leh airport for Rs 2 billion". 21 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Leh airport on expansion mode as Air Force gives 11 acres to AAI". 1 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Twenty percent work completed on Leh terminal". www.projectstoday.com. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Air India Timetable". Air India. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Budget airline GoAir rebrands as Go First".
  12. ^ "GoAir flight schedule". GoAir. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  13. ^ "IndiGo to launch flight services between Delhi, Leh on February 22". Moneycontrol. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  14. ^ "SpiceJet flight schedule". SpiceJet. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Vistara flight schedule". Vistara. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  16. ^ "SpiceJet launches dedicated freighter services to Leh in Ladakh". Business Standard. Retrieved 10 December 2020.

External links[edit]