Ngari Gunsa Airport

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Ngari Gunsa Airport


Ālǐ Kūnshā Jīchǎng
Airport typeMilitary/Public
LocationNgari (Ali), Tibet
Elevation AMSL4,274 m / 14,022 ft
Coordinates32°06′31″N 80°03′10″E / 32.10861°N 80.05278°E / 32.10861; 80.05278Coordinates: 32°06′31″N 80°03′10″E / 32.10861°N 80.05278°E / 32.10861; 80.05278
NGQ is located in Tibet
Location of airport in Tibet
Direction Length Surface
m ft
4,500 14,764 Asphalt
Source: [1]
Ngari Gunsa Airport
Simplified Chinese阿里昆莎机场

Ngari Gunsa Airport (IATA: NGQ, ICAO: ZUAL) is a dual-use military and civil airport serving the town of Shiquanhe in Ngari Prefecture, in the southwest of China's Tibet Autonomous Region near the Indian border. It started operations on 1 July 2010, becoming the fourth civil airport in Tibet after Lhasa, Nyingchi, and Qamdo airports.[2]

Situated at 4,274 m (14,022 ft) above sea level, Gunsa Airport is the fourth highest airport in the world after Daocheng Yading Airport, Qamdo Bamda Airport, and Kangding Airport.[3][4] Gunsa airport has a 4,500-meter runway. It is expected to handle 120,000 passengers by 2020. Construction began in May 2007 and cost an estimated 1.65 billion yuan (241.22 million U.S. dollars).[2]

As Shiquanhe (Ali) is only a one-day bus drive (about 330 km) from the settlement of Darchen situated just north of Lake Manasarovar, facing Mount Kailash,[5] it is expected to benefit pilgrims to these two sites, which are considered sacred by Hindus,[6] Buddhists, Bonpa and Jains.[7][8] With the opening of Shigatse Peace Airport in October 2010, the five airports, coupled with the Qinghai–Tibet railway and a network of roads, are expected to increase tourism to scenic and holy sites in Tibet.[6]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

China Eastern Airlines Kashgar
Lucky Air Kashgar
Tibet Airlines Lhasa

See also[edit]



  • Albinia, Alice. (2008) Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River. First American Edition (2010) W. W. Norton & Company, New York. ISBN 978-0-393-33860-7.
  • Dorje, Gyurme. (2009) Tibet Handbook. Footprint Handbooks, Bath, England. ISBN 978-1-906098-32-2.
  • Mayhew, Bradley and Kohn, Michael. (2005) Tibet. 6th Edition. ISBN 1-74059-523-8.