Top 10 Domestic Airports with Highest Flight Movement

Last updated on 2022-09-25
Top 10 Domestic Airports with Highest Flight Movement

The year 2019 was a banner year for Nepal's civil aviation sector. However, due to the global spread of the CoronaVirus, the year 2020 had one of the biggest aviation catastrophes in history. The Nepali civil aviation sector had to deal with the repercussions in the form of six-month flying limitations. Nepal currently has 54 airports, 53 of which are domestic and one of which is international. There are three international runways under construction, and one domestic runway is under development. As a consequence, of the 54 airports, 35 are operational and 19 are not.

*The ranking is done based on data collected from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

10. Pokhara

Pokhara
Image Source: TripAdvisor

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal opened the airport on July 4, 1958. It has daily flights to Kathmandu and Jomsom, as well as seasonal flights to Manang. Buddha Air, a Nepali private airline, launched international flights from Pokhara to Lucknow's Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in 2011, with intentions to expand to New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport in the future.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 7,866
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 1,59,807
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 30,295

9. Dolpa

Dolpa
Image Source: Nepal Travel Guide

The airport is located at a height of 8,200 feet (2,499 meters) above sea level. There is only one runway, named 15/33, which measures 663 by 30 meters (2,175 feet 98 feet). Dolpa Airport, also known as Juphal Airport, is a domestic airport serving Dolpa District in Karnali Province, Nepal. It is located in Juphal, Thuli Bheri. It is the district's sole airport.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 620
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 4,263
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 2,01,141

8. Bajura

Bajura
Image Source: Rara Adventure Tours & Treks | Youtube

The airport is located at a height of 4,300 feet (1,311 meters) above sea level. It has a single runway that is 520 meters (1,706 feet) long. Bajura Airport is a domestic airport in Budhinanda that serves the Bajura District, which is part of Nepal's Sudurpaschim Province.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 608
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 5,340
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 2,17,993

7. Ramechhap

Ramechhap
Image Source: https://www.mountainmarttreks.com/blog/tag/ramechhap-airport/

The airport is located at a height of 1,555 feet (474 meters) above sea level. It has a single runway that is 518 meters (1,699 feet) long. The airport first opened its doors in October of 1979. In 2019, all flights to Lukla were operated from Ramechhap Airport, the closest airport to Kathmandu, because the runway of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu was being renovated and the airport was closed overnight. The airport served 24 flights per day at its peak. The airport, on the other hand, had significant difficulties dealing with the large number of tourists arriving in Lukla. Following that, efforts to modernize the airport were developed.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 632
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 63
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 4,10,176

6. Biratnagar

Biratnagar
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Biratnagar airport was brought into operation for the first time since July 6, 1958. The airport sits at a height of 236 feet (72 meters) above sea level. It has one runway, ‘09/27’, which measures 1,505 by 30 meters (4,938 feet 98 foot) and is asphalt-surfaced. The airport is one of the few in Nepal with its own aviation fuel store, allowing planes to refuel during periods of high turnover.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 2,877
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 1,62,069
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 2,65,566

5. Phaplu

Phaplu
Image Source: Phaplu Airport | Facebook

The Phaplu airport was first opened in October 1976 and was later enlarged in order to accommodate DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. The airport was later shut down by the civil aviation authority of Nepal in 2013 and later reopened after a year with a full blacktopped runway for the aircraft.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 1,525
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 6,573
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 4,97,504

4. Lukla

Lukla
Image Source: Atlas Obscura

Lukla is a tiny town in the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality of the Solukhumbu District in north-eastern Nepal's Province No. 1. It is a famous destination for travelers to the Himalayas near Mount Everest, as it is located at 2,860 meters (9,383 feet). Despite the fact that Lukla means "place with many goats and sheep," the area presently has only a few. Lukla has a small airport that serves the region, as well as a number of tourist and trekker-friendly shops and lodges that serve western-style meals and trail supplies. Travelers will need two days to reach Namche Bazaar from Lukla, which serves as an altitude acclimation halt for those continuing on. The Nepalese government announced intentions to build the first tarmac road between Kathmandu and Lukla in August 2014. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport serves Lukla. If the weather permits, twin-engined Dornier 228s and de Havilland Canada Twin Otters fly between Lukla and Kathmandu often during the day. Lukla Airport has a short and steep airstrip, which is frequently exacerbated by bad weather, resulting in a number of deadly accidents. It has been dubbed the world's most dangerous airport.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 3,854
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 15,671
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 10,28,371

3. Surkhet

Surkhet
Image Source: Cumaps.net

Surkhet District is a district in Nepal's Karnali Province, in the west. Surkhet is one of Karnali's ten districts, located around 600 kilometers (373 miles) west of the country's capital, Kathmandu. The district covers a total size of 2,489 square kilometers (961 sq mi). It had a population of 288,527 in 2001 and 350,804 in 2011, with males accounting for 169,461 and females accounting for 181,381. Birendranagar, the district headquarters, is also the capital of Karnali Province.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 3,719
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 9,218
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 20,05,113

2. Nepalgunj

Nepalgunj
Image Source: Khabarhub.com

Nepalgunj, commonly known as Nepalganj, is a Sub-Metropolitan City in Nepal's Banke District. It is located on the Terai plains on the southern border of Uttar Pradesh, India, near the Bahraich district. Nepalgunj is 16 kilometers south of Kohalpur and 153 kilometers south of Ghorahi. Former Village Development Committee: On 2071 Poush 28, Udayapur, Bhawaniyapur, Piprahawa, Jaispur, Paraspur, Indrapur, Khaskarkado, Bashudevpur, Manikapur, and Puraina were added to the territory to make it a Sub Metropolitan City, and subsequently on 2072 Poush 21, Puraini was added to the list. In addition, as part of the nationwide restructuring of local levels, ward 23 (formerly Indrapur VDC) was transferred to Janaki Rural Municipality, while ward 7 of Hirminiya VDC was added to Nepalgunj.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 6,002
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 1,19,776
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 19,25,649

1. Simikot

Simikot
Image Source: Arthik News

Simikot is primarily accessible by plane from Nepal's developed areas. At over 3,000 meters above sea level, Simikot Airport's relatively small 549-meter (1,800 ft) runway necessitates passenger planes with STOL characteristics such as the Dornier Do 28 and de Havilland Twin Otter. Roads from the south have only reached Jumla, 86 kilometers (53 miles) to the southeast, while a crude road from the Tibet Autonomous Region border crossing at Hilsa, 51 kilometers (32 miles) WNW, has been built.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 5,462
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 9,353
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 35,93,747

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10.

Pokhara

9.

Dolpa

8.

Bajura

7.

Ramechhap

6.

Biratnagar

5.

Phaplu

4.

Lukla

3.

Surkhet

2.

Nepalgunj

1.

Simikot

10. Pokhara

Pokhara
Image Source: TripAdvisor

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal opened the airport on July 4, 1958. It has daily flights to Kathmandu and Jomsom, as well as seasonal flights to Manang. Buddha Air, a Nepali private airline, launched international flights from Pokhara to Lucknow's Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in 2011, with intentions to expand to New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport in the future.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 7,866
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 1,59,807
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 30,295

9. Dolpa

Dolpa
Image Source: Nepal Travel Guide

The airport is located at a height of 8,200 feet (2,499 meters) above sea level. There is only one runway, named 15/33, which measures 663 by 30 meters (2,175 feet 98 feet). Dolpa Airport, also known as Juphal Airport, is a domestic airport serving Dolpa District in Karnali Province, Nepal. It is located in Juphal, Thuli Bheri. It is the district's sole airport.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 620
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 4,263
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 2,01,141

8. Bajura

Bajura
Image Source: Rara Adventure Tours & Treks | Youtube

The airport is located at a height of 4,300 feet (1,311 meters) above sea level. It has a single runway that is 520 meters (1,706 feet) long. Bajura Airport is a domestic airport in Budhinanda that serves the Bajura District, which is part of Nepal's Sudurpaschim Province.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 608
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 5,340
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 2,17,993

7. Ramechhap

Ramechhap
Image Source: https://www.mountainmarttreks.com/blog/tag/ramechhap-airport/

The airport is located at a height of 1,555 feet (474 meters) above sea level. It has a single runway that is 518 meters (1,699 feet) long. The airport first opened its doors in October of 1979. In 2019, all flights to Lukla were operated from Ramechhap Airport, the closest airport to Kathmandu, because the runway of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu was being renovated and the airport was closed overnight. The airport served 24 flights per day at its peak. The airport, on the other hand, had significant difficulties dealing with the large number of tourists arriving in Lukla. Following that, efforts to modernize the airport were developed.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 632
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 63
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 4,10,176

6. Biratnagar

Biratnagar
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Biratnagar airport was brought into operation for the first time since July 6, 1958. The airport sits at a height of 236 feet (72 meters) above sea level. It has one runway, ‘09/27’, which measures 1,505 by 30 meters (4,938 feet 98 foot) and is asphalt-surfaced. The airport is one of the few in Nepal with its own aviation fuel store, allowing planes to refuel during periods of high turnover.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 2,877
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 1,62,069
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 2,65,566

5. Phaplu

Phaplu
Image Source: Phaplu Airport | Facebook

The Phaplu airport was first opened in October 1976 and was later enlarged in order to accommodate DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. The airport was later shut down by the civil aviation authority of Nepal in 2013 and later reopened after a year with a full blacktopped runway for the aircraft.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 1,525
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 6,573
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 4,97,504

4. Lukla

Lukla
Image Source: Atlas Obscura

Lukla is a tiny town in the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality of the Solukhumbu District in north-eastern Nepal's Province No. 1. It is a famous destination for travelers to the Himalayas near Mount Everest, as it is located at 2,860 meters (9,383 feet). Despite the fact that Lukla means "place with many goats and sheep," the area presently has only a few. Lukla has a small airport that serves the region, as well as a number of tourist and trekker-friendly shops and lodges that serve western-style meals and trail supplies. Travelers will need two days to reach Namche Bazaar from Lukla, which serves as an altitude acclimation halt for those continuing on. The Nepalese government announced intentions to build the first tarmac road between Kathmandu and Lukla in August 2014. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport serves Lukla. If the weather permits, twin-engined Dornier 228s and de Havilland Canada Twin Otters fly between Lukla and Kathmandu often during the day. Lukla Airport has a short and steep airstrip, which is frequently exacerbated by bad weather, resulting in a number of deadly accidents. It has been dubbed the world's most dangerous airport.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 3,854
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 15,671
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 10,28,371

3. Surkhet

Surkhet
Image Source: Cumaps.net

Surkhet District is a district in Nepal's Karnali Province, in the west. Surkhet is one of Karnali's ten districts, located around 600 kilometers (373 miles) west of the country's capital, Kathmandu. The district covers a total size of 2,489 square kilometers (961 sq mi). It had a population of 288,527 in 2001 and 350,804 in 2011, with males accounting for 169,461 and females accounting for 181,381. Birendranagar, the district headquarters, is also the capital of Karnali Province.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 3,719
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 9,218
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 20,05,113

2. Nepalgunj

Nepalgunj
Image Source: Khabarhub.com

Nepalgunj, commonly known as Nepalganj, is a Sub-Metropolitan City in Nepal's Banke District. It is located on the Terai plains on the southern border of Uttar Pradesh, India, near the Bahraich district. Nepalgunj is 16 kilometers south of Kohalpur and 153 kilometers south of Ghorahi. Former Village Development Committee: On 2071 Poush 28, Udayapur, Bhawaniyapur, Piprahawa, Jaispur, Paraspur, Indrapur, Khaskarkado, Bashudevpur, Manikapur, and Puraina were added to the territory to make it a Sub Metropolitan City, and subsequently on 2072 Poush 21, Puraini was added to the list. In addition, as part of the nationwide restructuring of local levels, ward 23 (formerly Indrapur VDC) was transferred to Janaki Rural Municipality, while ward 7 of Hirminiya VDC was added to Nepalgunj.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 6,002
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 1,19,776
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 19,25,649

1. Simikot

Simikot
Image Source: Arthik News

Simikot is primarily accessible by plane from Nepal's developed areas. At over 3,000 meters above sea level, Simikot Airport's relatively small 549-meter (1,800 ft) runway necessitates passenger planes with STOL characteristics such as the Dornier Do 28 and de Havilland Twin Otter. Roads from the south have only reached Jumla, 86 kilometers (53 miles) to the southeast, while a crude road from the Tibet Autonomous Region border crossing at Hilsa, 51 kilometers (32 miles) WNW, has been built.

  • Total Aircrafts (In/Out) : 5,462
  • Total Number of Passengers (In/Out) : 9,353
  • Total Cargo (In/Out) : 35,93,747

10.

Pokhara

9.

Dolpa

8.

Bajura

7.

Ramechhap

6.

Biratnagar

5.

Phaplu

4.

Lukla

3.

Surkhet

2.

Nepalgunj

1.

Simikot