Yongphulla Airport

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Yonphula Airport
Airport type Public
Operator Government
Serves Trashigang, Bhutan
Elevation AMSL 2,743 m / 9,000 ft
Coordinates 27°15′23″N 091°30′52″E / 27.25639°N 91.51444°E / 27.25639; 91.51444
YON is located in Bhutan
Location of airport in Bhutan
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 1,266 4,154 Asphalt
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Yongphulla Airport (IATA: YONICAO: VQTY)[2] (also known as Yonphula Airport) is a domestic airport in Bhutan, one of only four airports in the country. It is located near the town of Trashigang in Trashigang District.[3] As of January 2015, the airport remains closed due to ongoing runway repair.[4]


Until recently Yongphulla Airport was simply an airstrip, located high atop mountainous terrain and largely unused. In the early 2000s, the airport was renovated with the aim of becoming a viable domestic airport.[5] It was scheduled for completion in January 2010, but as of August 2010 work was still ongoing.[6] The airport was eventually completed and inaugurated in December 2011, however, six months later it closed for runway surface repairs, after Drukair suspended operations citing safety concerns. During construction, budget constraints had allowed only half of the runway to receive 'patchwork repairs'. The airport was originally constructed by the Indian Army in the 1960s and the runway had not been resurfaced since that time.[7]

While the airport reopened in January 2013, following a complete resurfacing of the runway, Drukair scheduled flights to Yongphulla are currently suspended because of regulatory requirements and further safety concerns. The ATR 42-500 used by Drukair for domestic services, while able to land on the 3.8 percent gradient runway, is prohibited from doing so in commercial flight operations, as there is a limitation in the aircraft manual of 2 percent.[8] Additionally, Drukair has highlighted concerns with a 'hump' in the runway, on the grounds that it may cause long-term structural damage to their aircraft. Drukair has also asked for the two hillocks either side of the runway to be removed on the grounds that the airport is prone to strong crosswinds and these represent a hazard to aircraft in such conditions.[7]

In October 2013, it was announced that the airport would be closed to all air traffic until 2015, due to the lack of fire service cover and to allow significant structural repairs to the airfield.[7]


The airport resides at an elevation of 9,000 ft (2,700 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 12/30 with an Asphalt surface measuring 4,154 by 120 feet (1,266 m × 37 m).[5][9][10]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Bhutan Airlines Thimphu/Paro (suspended)
Druk Air Jakar, Thimphu/Paro (both suspended)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airport information from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
  2. ^ a b "Trashigang Yongphulla - ch-aviation.com". ch-aviation. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Bhutan Portal". Bhutan.gov.bt. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  4. ^ http://www.bbs.bt/news/?p=35470
  5. ^ a b "Kuensel Newspaper - Domestic air service to take wing soon". Kuenselonline.com. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  6. ^ "Kuensel Newspaper - DYT approves quarry without community clearance". Kuenselonline.com. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  7. ^ a b c "Yonphula airport shuts down earlier than planned". KuenselOnline. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Blog Archive » Drukair Yonphula flights up in the air". kuenselonline. 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  9. ^ "Airport YONGPHULLA". Fallingrain.com. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  10. ^ "photos of airport Yongphula ( YBH / VQTY )". planes.cz. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 

External links[edit]