The History Channel’s Most Extreme Airports show rated Lukla as the most dangerous airport in the world. The airport is popular because Lukla is the place where most people start the climb to Mount Everest Base Camp. There are daily flights between Lukla and Kathmandu during daylight hours, in good weather. Although the flying distance is short, rain commonly occurs in Lukla while the sun is shining brightly in Kathmandu. High winds, cloud cover and changing visibility often mean flights can be delayed or the airport closed completely. Continue reading for two videos and more information.
The airport’s paved asphalt runway is only accessible to helicopters and small, fixed-wing, short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft, such as the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter or Dornier Do 228 or Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter. The runway is 460 by 20 m (1,510 by 66 ft) with a 12% gradient. The elevation of the airport is 2,800 m (9,200 ft).
Aircraft can only use runway 06 for landings and runway 24 for takeoffs. Due to the terrain, there is no prospect of a successful go-around on short final. There is high terrain immediately after the northern end of the runway and a steeply angled drop at the southern end of the runway, into the valley below.