Nyingchi Mainling Airport

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Nyingchi Mainling Airport
Línzhī Mǐlín Jīchǎng
到達林芝 (14370324094).jpg
Nyingchi Mainling Airport
Airport typePublic
LocationMainling, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Elevation AMSL2,949 m / 9,675 ft
Coordinates29°18′12″N 94°20′07″E / 29.30333°N 94.33528°E / 29.30333; 94.33528Coordinates: 29°18′12″N 94°20′07″E / 29.30333°N 94.33528°E / 29.30333; 94.33528
LZY is located in Tibet
Location of airport in Tibet
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 3,000 9,843 Concrete
Statistics (2015)
Aircraft movements4,579
Cargo (metric tons)1,652.5
Source: CAAC[1][2][3]
Nyingchi Mainling Airport
Traditional Chinese林芝米林機場
Simplified Chinese林芝米林机场

Nyingchi Mainling Airport (IATA: LZY, ICAO: ZUNZ) is an airport in Mainling, Nyingchi, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is suggested to be one of the most challenging instrument approaches in the world, since the airport is in a winding valley.[citation needed]

Nyingchi Airport is the third airport that Tibet has put into operation. Built at a cost of 780 million yuan (96.18 million U.S. dollars), including investment by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), the airport is 2,949 meters above sea level, lower than the other two civil airports, with a designed annual passenger flow of 120,000.

Known as one of the world's most difficult airports for aircraft to reach, Nyingchi Airport is situated in the valley of the Yarlung Tsangpo River in the Southeast of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, surrounded by over-4,000-metre-high (13,000 ft) mountains enveloped by clouds and fog throughout the year. Aircraft have to fly through the narrow and winding river valley to approach the airport. The narrowest flight path is less than 4 km from one mountain ridge along the valley to the opposite one. According to meteorological data, there are just 100 days overall with suitable weather to operate to the airport each year.

The first landing of a commercial aircraft was made by an Air China Boeing 757 without passengers on July 12, 2006. Six weeks later the first commercial flight with passengers was made to the airport. The airport uses a required navigation performance (RNP) approach procedure to provide instrument approach guidance through surrounding valleys to the vicinity of the runway threshold.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Air China Chengdu
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou, Shenzhen
Sichuan Airlines Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi'an
Tibet Airlines Chengdu, Chongqing, Lanzhou, Lhasa, Lanzhou, Shenzhen, Xi'an

See also[edit]


  • Fellows, James (2012). China Airborne. New York: Pantheon Books. pp. 175–180. ISBN 978-0-375-42211-9.