Tribhuvan International Airport
Tribhuvan International Airport
त्रिभुवन अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल
|Owner||Government Of Nepal|
|Operator||Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN)|
|Elevation AMSL||4,390 ft / 1,338 m|
Tribhuvan International Airport (Nepali: त्रिभुवन अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल) (IATA: KTM, ICAO: VNKT) is an international airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, located in the Kathmandu Valley about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the city center of Kathmandu. The airport has served as an airfield since 1949, and was inaugurated in 1955 by King Mahendra of Nepal. It received its current name in 1964. Originally a grass runway, it was re-laid in concrete in 1957 and has been extended several times. The first jet aircraft landed at Tribhuvan in 1967 and regular jet operations commenced in 1972.
It is the sole international airport in Nepal. Having one domestic and one international terminal, the airport serves as a hub for several Nepalese airlines and over 30 international airlines connect Nepal to destinations in Asia and the Middle East.
Due to severe traffic congestion and the airport running out of its maximum capacity, the government of Nepal decided to construct more international airports, notably, Nijgadh International Airport, Pokhara International Airport and Gautam Buddha Airport.
The airport was originally named Gauchaur Airport, after the area of Kathmandu where it was situated. The formal beginning of aviation in Nepal occurred in 1949, with the landing of a Beechcraft Bonanza carrying the Indian ambassador. The first charter flight took place between Gauchaur and Calcutta, in a Himalayan Aviation Dakota on 20 February 1950.
In 1955, the airport was inaugurated by King Mahendra and renamed Tribhuvan Airport in memory of the king's father. The airport was again renamed Tribhuvan International Airport in 1964. The original grass runway was re-laid in concrete in 1957 and extended from 3,750 feet (1,140 m), to 6,600 feet (2,000 m) in 1967. The runway was again extended from 6,600 feet (2,000 m) to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in 1975.
In May 2007, Austrian Airlines discontinued their flight to Vienna, Nepal's last direct air link to Europe. Since September 2013, Turkish Airlines launched direct flights from Istanbul to Kathmandu, re-establishing Nepal's connection with continental Europe.
The airport has two public terminals, one for international and one for domestic traffic. It also has a terminal for VIP guests operated by the Government of Nepal, where international state guests are welcomed. There are plans to construct a separate terminal for helicopter transportation.
Radisson Hotel Kathmandu operates an executive lounge for first and business class passengers for some airlines and Thai Airways operates a lounge for its business-class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold card holders.
Nepal Airlines operates a large hangar. There are plans to upgrade this facility. Buddha Air operates a closed door hangar facility, which can accommodate narrow-body aircraft at the Eastern side of the airport.
Location and access
Tribhuvan International Airport is located 1 km (0.6 mi) from Pashupatinath Temple, 6 km (3.7 mi) east of city center and main tourists area Thamel. The airport is connected to Kathmandu by city bus Sajha Yatayat, local buses from the airport, and taxis. The nearest hotel is Airport Hotel located 200 m (0.1 mi) from the airport gate.
Airlines and destinations
|Uni-Top Airlines||Kunming|||
The helicopter operators Air Dynasty, Manang Air, Prabhu helicopter, Simrik Air, Shree Airlines and Summit Helicopters offer helicopter operations out of their respective hubs at Tribhuvan International Airport.
Several Airlines (including Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines and Simrik Airlines) also provide daily mountain sightseeing flights or Mount Everest sightseeing flights out of Kathmandu Airport. They usually depart from the domestic terminal in the early morning hours and return to the airport one hour later.
|Passengers (Domestic and International)|
|Rank||Carrier||Number of passengers||Change from previous year|
|Rank||Carrier||Number of passengers||Passenger share|
Sajha Yatayat buses connect the airport's international terminal to city centre, with the last bus leaving the airport at around 18:00. Buses from other local companies stop in front of the airport's main gate, 500 meters in front of the airport buildings. Meter and prepaid taxis are available at both terminals at all hours.
Incidents and accidents
- 10 May 1973 – A Thai Airways Douglas DC-8 overran the runway on landing with 100 of passengers and 10 crew on board, there was one fatality.
- 31 July 1992 – An Airbus A310-304, operating as Thai Airways International Flight 311 crashed into a mountain while approaching Kathmandu, killing all 113 people on board.
- 28 September 1992 – An Airbus A300 B4-203 operating as PIA Flight 268 crashed while approaching Kathmandu, killing all 167 on board, making it the worst air accident in Nepal.
- 17 January 1995 – Royal Nepal Airlines De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300, flight RA133 from Kathmandu to Rumjatar, had problems getting airborne at Tribhuvan International Airport. The aircraft struck the airfield perimeter fence and plunged into fields. Of three crew and 21 passengers on board, one crew member and one passenger were killed.
- 7 July 1999 – A Boeing 727-200F of Lufthansa Cargo crashed in the Champadevi hills at the 7550 feet level, five minutes after takeoff, when it should have been at an altitude of 9500 feet. All five crew members on board were killed.
- 5 September 1999 – A BAe 748-501 Super 2B operating as Necon Air Flight 128 from Pokhara to Kathmandu, crashed while approaching Tribhuvan International Airport. The aircraft collided with a communication tower of Nepal Telecommunication Corporation and crashed in a wooded area 25 km west of Kathmandu. All 10 passengers and 5 crew were killed.
- 26 December 1999 – A Airbus A300B2-101 operating as Indian Airlines Flight 814 was hijacked en route from Kathmandu to Delhi. The aircraft ended up in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Indian Airlines suspended all flights to and from Nepal for some time, fearing a lack of security at check-in.
- 24 December 2008 – A Nepal Airlines De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 (9N ABM) ran off the runway during takeoff
- 24 August 2010 – A Dornier Do 228 operating as Agni Air Flight 101 crashed into hills outside Kathmandu in heavy rain. All on board (3 crew, 11 passengers) were killed. The plane, crashed near Shikharpur village, 80 km (50 mi) south of Kathmandu. The aircraft had left Tribhuvan International Airport, bound for Tenzing-Hillary Airport.
- 25 September 2011 – A Beechcraft 1900D operating as Buddha Air Flight 103, struck terrain while approaching Tribhuvan International Airport. There were 16 passengers and three crew members on board. Initial reports stated there was one survivor, who died en route to hospital. At the time of the crash, the weather was overcast with very low clouds and flights were operating under visual flight rules. The aircraft was on the base leg of the approach following a sightseeing flight.
- 28 September 2012 – A Dornier Do 228 operating as Sita Air Flight 601, crashed soon after take-off, after apparently hitting a vulture. Sixteen passengers and three crew members were killed.
- 4 March 2015 – A Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-300 veered off the runway after attempting to land in dense fog. The aircraft had been circling for 30 minutes and was making its second landing attempt, after a previous aborted attempt due to poor visibility. The aircraft skidded into soft grass causing the nose wheel to collapse and the airport to temporarily close to all international flights. All 227 passengers and 11 crew members evacuated the aircraft safely.
- 12 March 2018 – A Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 operating as US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211, carrying 67 passengers and 4 crew veered off the runway while landing then crashed on the east side of Tribhuvan International Airport catching fire. 47 passengers and 4 crew were killed.
- 19 April 2018 – A Malindo Air Boeing 737-900ER flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu overran a runway after a high-speed rejected takeoff. The aircraft skidded roughly 250 feet (75 meters) south of the runway end and stopped along a grassy area between two runways. All 132 passengers and seven crew members escaped injury. Damage to the aircraft was minor, and the airport was closed for 12 hours until it was removed. The flight crew opted to abort the takeoff due to a warning indicated the aircraft was not correctly configured.
- 1 September 2018 – A Yeti Airlines BAe Jetstream 41 (9N-AHW) en route from Nepalgunj Airport skidded off the runway, seconds after touching down. All 21 passengers and the crew of 3, evacuated the aircraft safely without injuries but the aircraft was written off. Slippery runway due to rainfall was reported to be the cause of the incident.
- 12 July 2019 – Yeti Airlines flight NYT-422: An ATR 72-500 registration 9N-AMM coming from Nepalgunj skidded off the runway just as it landed at Tribhuvan International Airport. There were 68 people onboard including 4 crew members, all of them evacuated the aircraft safely but two of the passengers received minor injuries.
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Media related to Tribhuvan International Airport at Wikimedia Commons