Travel Guide

15 Major Airports in Nepal (International & Domestic)

Are you traveling to Nepal and want to know about major airports in Nepal? In Nepal, we have 2 international and 51 domestic airports but not all domestic airports are in operation.

These airports are very important for tourists coming to Nepal and also the tourists who want to explore different places at that time.

We have categorized the airports in detail with their location, elevation, and others. And also we will give an overview of major airports.

In this blog, you are also going to learn about

  • List of Domestic and International Airports.
  • Facts about Airports in Nepal
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • IATA Code, etc.

List of Airports in Nepal

S.NInternational AirportsProvince/District
1Tribhuwan International AirportBagmati/Kathmandu
2Gautam Buddha International AirportLumbini/Rupandehi
Major Airports in Nepal
Simikot Airport
S.NDomestic AirportsProvince/District
1 Biratnagar Airport1/Morang
2 Nepalgunj AirportLumbini/Banke
3Pokhara AirportGandaki/Kaski
4Chandragadhi Airport1/Jhapa
5Rajbiraj AirportMadhesh/Rajbiraj
6Janakpur AirportMadhesh/Dhanusha
7Simara AirportMadhesh/Bara
8Bharatpur AirportBagmati/Chitwan
9Dhangadhi AirportSudur Paschim/Kailali
10Surkhet AirportKarnali/Surkhet
11Dang AirportLumbini/Dang
12Taplejung Airport1/Taplejung
13Tumlingtar Airport1/Sankhuwasabha
14Bhojpur Airport1/Bhojpur
15Thamkharka Airport1/Khotang
16Manamaya Rai Khanidanda Airport1/Khotang
17Lamidanda Airport1/Khotang
18Rumjatar Airport1/Okhaldhunga
19Phaplu Airport1/Solukhumbu
20Tenzing Hillary (Lukla) Airport1/Solukhumbu
21 Ramechhap AirportBagmati/Ramechhap
22Jomsom AirportGandaki/Mustang
23 Jumla AirportKarnali/Jumla
24Rara AirportKarnali/Mugu
25Rukum Salle AirportKarnali/West Rukum
26Simikot AirportKarnali/Humla
27Sanfebagar AirportSudur Paschim/Achham
28Dolpa AirportKarnali/Dolpa
29Bajhang AirportSudur Paschim/Bajhang
30Baitadi AirportSudur Paschim/Baitadi
31Bajura AirportSudur Paschim/Bajura
32Doti AirportSudur Paschim/Doti

Start Here: Getting Around Nepal

Top International Airports in Nepal

There are currently two international airports in Nepal, one is Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu and another one is Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) in Lumbini.

TIA is the only airport that has regularly scheduled flights and is the hub for all international airlines operating in Nepal.

GBIA is a new airport compared to TIA and is operating few international and domestic flights.

1. Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu

Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA)
Source: tiairport.com.np

Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu is one of the most important airports in Nepal. The airport was inaugurated on 15th June 1955 by King Mahendra but the first landed single-engine aircraft was in 1949. It is located at the heart of Kathmandu, about 5.56 km east of Kathmandu city.

Tribhuwan International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Nepal and a fully operated TIA can handle over 90,000 passengers daily.

Tribhuvan International Airport is the primary airport serving Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. It is located in the center section, within the ring road of the city, and the airport code is KTM.

The airport opened in 1949 and was later re-named after King Tribhuwan Bir Bikram Shah Dev. The airport has two terminals: domestic and international. In addition to being a hub for domestic flights, Tribhuwan International Airport serves as a gateway for tourists visiting Nepal.

After the airport renovation, it has several amenities like Nepal Tourism Board Information Counter, Press Rooms, Cargo Facilities, Trolley Services, SIM card center, Police Help Desk, Banking Facilities, Post Office, Restaurants and Cafeteria, Medical Services, Foreign Exchange, and shopping centers as well as parking lots for vehicles in front of both domestic and international terminals.

LocationBagmati/Kathmandu
IATA CodeKTM
Elevation1339.54 m/4394.76 ft.
Location IndicatorVNKT

2. Gautam Buddha International Airport, Bhairahawa

Gautam Buddha International Airport
Source: airports.caanepal.gov.np/gbia/

Gautam Buddha International Airport, Bhairahawa is a newly built airport in Nepal. It serves the city of Bhairahawa and the surrounding region. The airport was built as an alternative route to the Tribhuvan International Airport, which was located about 270+ kilometers away.

The new airport is operated by 2022, and it has helped make travel easier for people in the region who previously had to travel to Birgunj or Kathmandu for flights out of Nepal.

The airport is named after Gautam Buddha, who was born in Nepal. It serves as a gateway to international as well as domestic travelers, which are both popular destinations among tourists from Nepal.

LocationLumbini/Rupandehi
IATA CodeBWA
Elevation105 m/344 ft.
Location IndicatorVNBW

Top Domestic Airports in Nepal

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), there are 51 domestic airports where 32 are in operation while 19 are not in operation due to various reasons.

Here are some of the domestic airports in Nepal that are mostly used on daily flights.

1. Tenzing Hillary (Lukla) Airport, Solukhumbu

Tenzing Hillary (Lukla) Airport, Solukhumbu

Tenzing Hillary Airport, also known as Lukla Airport, is the main airport for the Everest region of Nepal. It is located in Lukla, a village in Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality in Solukhumbu District.

The airport was named after Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.

Tenzing Hillary (Lukla) Airport serves as a gateway to Mount Everest. It has been used by thousands of adventurers and mountaineers as a starting point for their expeditions. Lukla Airport is rated as one of the most dangerous airports in the world because of the shorter runway.

The airport sits at an elevation of 9,334 feet (2,845 meters) above sea level and has a single runway measuring only 1,729 feet (527 meters) long.

The runway is also very short and narrow compared to other major airports around the world – and it’s surrounded by mountains on three sides!

It can be difficult to land at this airport because there are no navigational aids available and pilots must rely on visual references only when approaching this runway.

Pilots must be careful when landing because there are often wind gusts that can push planes off course during takeoffs or landings. so, most experienced pilots are only allowed to fly over here.

Location1/Solukhumbu
IATA CodeLUA
Elevation2846 m/9337 ft.
Location IndicatorVNLK

2. Pokhara Airport, Pokhara

POKHARA AIRPORT

Pokhara airport is a gateway to Pokhara, the second-largest city in Nepal. It has an elevation of 822 m/2696 ft. and is just 200 kilometers away from Kathmandu city.

Well, it is the second busiest airport after TIA. Also, it is connected not only from Kathmandu but to various other airports within the country.

Pokhara is a great place to stop before or after your trip to Nepal. The airport is located in Pokhara, a city that is the gateway to many of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Almost 50% of the annual country’s tourists visit Pokhara.

The airport is easy to reach from the city center: it’s only about a few-minutes taxi ride. This airport acts as a hub for pilgrims to visit religious sites like Muktinath, Jomsom, etc. also trekking to Annapurna Regions.

You can also visit beautiful lakes in Pokhara like Phewa Lake, Rupa Lake, Begnas Lake, etc.

LocationGandaki/Kaski
IATA CodePKR
Elevation822 m/2696 ft.
Location IndicatorVNPK

3. Biratnagar Airport, Biratnagar

BIRATNAGAR AIRPORT

The Biratnagar Airport is the second busiest domestic airport after Pokhara Airport in Nepal. It is located in the city of Biratnagar, in the eastern part of the country. The airport is about 5 kilometers northwest of the city.

The airport started its first operation on 04 July 1958. Since then many airlines have like Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Tara Air, Sita Air, Simrik Airlines, Summit Airways, Nepal Airlines, Shree Airlines, etc have been using this airport for daily flights.

Among the domestic/hub airports in Nepal, Biratnagar airport is the first certified aerodrome after only Tribhuvan International Airport.

The airport is a hub for domestic flights where people from Jhapa, Biratnagar, Dharan, Itahari, etc. take services.

Location1/Morang
IATA CodeBIR
Elevation74.972 m/245.94 ft.
Location IndicatorVNVT

4. Nepalgunj Airport, Nepalgunj

NEPALGUNJ AIRPORT

Nepalgunj Airport is a domestic airport serving Nepalgunj, a city in Nepal. The airport is located in the Banke district, about 5 kilometers from the city center.

Nepalgunj Airport has a runway that is 1505 m x 30 m. Nepalgunj Airport is also a hub for domestic airlines operating in Nepal. Nepalgunj Airport is served by several airlines, including Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Tara Air, Shree Airlines, Saurya Airlines, Sita Air, Summit Airways, Nepal Airlines, etc.

The airport has regular flights to and from Kathmandu, Pokhara, etc, and is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Nepalgunj Airport is located in a strategic location where it has the highest number of air links. There are 16 links to airports from Sudur Paschim & Lumbini Province.

It is situated near the Indo-Nepal border. The airport is also close to several tourist destinations, such as the Bageshwari Temple, Banke National Park, Ghaghara River, etc.

Domestic passengers travel to this airport from Jumla, Simikot, Rara, Dolpa, Bajura, Sanfebagar, Salle, Kathmandu, etc.

Nepalgunj Airport plays an important role in the economy of Nepal. The airport is a major contributor to the tourism industry of Nepal. The airport is also a key hub for the Indian pilgrims visiting Kailash Mansarovar situated in Tibet.

LocationLumbini/Banke
IATA CodeKEP
Elevation158 m/518 ft.
Location IndicatorVNNG

5. Simara Airport, Simara

SIMARA AIRPORT

Simara Airport is located in the town of Simara in the Bara District of Nepal. It is the nearest airport to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu i.e. it is only 39 miles far away. The airport has one runway capable of handling small turboprop aircraft and helicopters.

Also, the Simara Airport is one of the most important airports in Nepal. Since it is linked with Raxaual i.e. commercial hub to Nepal for importing and exporting goods from India. The commercial town is located in Birjung which is 20 kilometers away from the Simara airport.

Simara Airport started its first operation on 4 July 1958. The airport is operatable all seasons as it is not restricted to any weather condition. The airport is a vital link for the people of Simara and the Bara District, providing access to essential services and supplies.

LocationMadhesh/Bara
IATA CodeSIF
Elevation136 m/445 ft.
Location IndicatorVNSI

6. Bharatpur Airport, Bharatpur

BHARATPUR AIRPORT

Bharatpur Airport (IATA: BHR, ICAO: VNBP) is a domestic airport serving Bharatpur, the capital city of Chitwan District in Nepal. The airport is located southeast of the town.

Bharatpur Airport was established in 1961. It provides its services in all weather conditions. The airport has a single runway of 1200 m x 30 m in dimension.

It is capable of handling small turboprop aircraft. The airport has a single terminal building that can handle a large number of passengers.

The airport is served by several domestic airlines, including Buddha Air, and Yeti Airlines.

Bharatpur Airport is a gateway to several tourist destinations in Nepal, including the famous tourist spot Chitwan National Park. Tourist from Kathmandu prefers this airport as it’s the quickest way to reach Chitwan.

LocationBagmati/Chitwan
IATA CodeBHR
Elevation207 m/679 ft.
Location IndicatorVNBP

7. Dhangadhi Airport, Dhangadhi

DHANGADHI AIRPORT

Dhangadhi Airport is an airport located in Dhangadhi, Nepal. The airport has been operating since 1964 The airport elevation is 189 m/621 ft. and has one runway, which is 1800 meters long.

Dhangadhi Airport is currently served by several domestic airlines. The domestic airlines operating at the airport are Buddha Air, Shree Airlines, Nepal Airlines, and Summit Air.

Dhangadhi Airport is located in Nepal’s far-western region, also known as the Far-Western Development Region. The airport is expected to play a vital role in the region’s development and will help boost tourism and economic activity.

LocationSudur Paschim/Kailali
IATA CodeDHI
Elevation189 m/621 ft
Location IndicatorVNDH

8. Janakpur Airport, Janakpur

Janakpur Airport

Janakpur Airport is located in Janakpurdham, Nepal. It is the only airport in the city and is, therefore, a vital regional transport hub. The airport has one runway with an asphalt surface of 1306 m x 30 m.

The airport is served by several airlines, including Shree Airlines, Buddha Air, and Yeti Airlines. There are direct flights to Kathmandu and another major cities in Nepal, such as Pokhara.

The airport is well-equipped and has a range of facilities for passengers and it is an essential gateway to the city of Janakpur and the surrounding region. Ram Janaki Temple, Ganga Sagar, and Ram Mandir are some of the famous historical and religious places in Janakpur.

LocationMadhesh/Dhanusha
IATA CodeJKR
Elevation71 m/233 ft.
Location IndicatorVNJP

9. Tumlingtar Airport, Tumlingtar

TUMLINGTAR AIRPORT

Tumlingtar Airport is a domestic airport in Tumlingtar, Nepal. It is the gateway to the eastern part of Nepal and serves as a hub for domestic airlines.

The airport has a single runway and can handle small-sized aircraft with a runway Designation of 16/34 and has a dimension of 1295 m x 30 m.

The airport is at an elevation of 401 m/1316 ft. Domestic airlines namely Buddha Air, Buddha Air, and Yeti Airlines provide service in this area.

Location1/Sankhuwasabha
IATA CodeTMI
Elevation401 m/1316 ft.
Location IndicatorVNTR

10. Phaplu Airport, Solukhumbu

Phaplu Airport

Phaplu Airport is located in Solukhumbu, Nepal. It is one of the airports in Solukhumbu district and is about 1 kilometer from the district headquarters, Namche Bazaar.

The airport has a single runway (02/20) which is 680 meters long and 20 meters wide. It can accommodate small turboprop aircraft and helicopters.

The airport is owned by the Government of Nepal and operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Tara Air, Sita Air, Nepal Airlines, and Summit Air are the only domestic airlines that operate to and from Phaplu Airport.

Due to its location in a valley, the airport is also subject to strong crosswinds, so only experienced pilots should attempt to land here.

Phaplu Airport is an essential gateway for trekkers and climbers heading to Mount Everest and the surrounding area despite its challenges. It is also the starting point for the famous Khumbu Trekking Route.

Location1/Solukhumbu
IATA CodePPL
Elevation2468 m/8097 ft.
Location IndicatorVNPL

11. Chandragadhi Airport, Jhapa

CHANDRAGADHI AIRPORT

Chandragadhi airport is located in Bhadrapur, Jhapa district of Nepal AKA Bhadrapur Airport. It is the airport in the eastern region of Nepal nearest to the Indian Border (Siliguri).

The airport year of the start of Operation was November 1963. The airport has a single runway which is 1,500 meters long and 30 meters wide.

The airport can handle medium passenger flow at a time. The airport is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Currently, five domestic airlines are operating regular flights to and from Chandragadhi airport.

They are Buddha Air, Saurya Airlines, Shree Airlines, Sita Air, and Yeti Airlines. The airport is connected to Bhadrapur city and is 3.2 Km North West from City.

Location1/Jhapa
IATA CodeBDP
Elevation95.149 m/312.184 ft.
Location IndicatorVNCG

12. Lamidanda Airport, Khotang

Lamidanda Airport

Lamidanda Airport is located in the Khotang district of Nepal. It is a public airport owned by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.

The airport has a single asphalt Concrete runway which is 520 meters long and 10 meters wide. The airport is at an elevation of 1227 m/4026 ft. It is located about 8 hours walking distance from the District headquarters of Diktel.

The airport is connected to the district headquarters by a road. Lamidanda Airport was established in 1972. The nearest pilgrimage site from Lamidanda Airport is Halesi Mahadev.

Location1/Khotang
IATA CodeLDN
Elevation1227 m/4026 ft.
Location IndicatorVNLD

13. Jomsom Airport, Mustang

Jomsom Airport

Jomsom Airport is a public airport in Mustang, a district in the Gandaki Province of Nepal. It is the gateway to the Upper Mustang region and the only district airport. The airport is situated at 2736 m./8976 ft.

The airport has a single runway that is 810 m x 20 m and is paved with asphalt. It can handle small aircraft and is serviced by Tara Air, and Summit Air.

Due to its high elevation, the airport is subject to strong winds and bad weather. As a result, flight operations are often disrupted.

The airport is located in a remote and mountainous region. The Jomson airport is situated close to the Tibetan border and is guarded by the Nepalese Army.

Despite its challenges, the airport is an essential gateway to the Mustang region and its unique culture and landscape.

LocationGandaki/Mustang
IATA CodeJMO
Elevation2736 m/8976 ft.
Location IndicatorVNJS

Facts about Airports in Nepal

  • Nepal is home to two international airports – Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu and Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) in Lumbini
  • There are also 53 airports including international & domestic airports throughout the country where 34 airports are in operation and 19 are not in operation.
  • TIA is the largest and one of the busiest airports in Nepal. A fully operated TIA can handle over 90,000 passengers daily.
  • TIA is located in the capital city of Kathmandu and is the main hub for international flights.
  • TIA has two terminals- one for domestic flights and one for international flights.
  • GBIA is an airport, which can serve over 1,00,000 passengers per year.
  • GBIA is located in the city of Lumbini, which is home to the world-famous Buddhist pilgrimage site.
  • Major Domestic airports include Pokhara Airport, Biratnagar Airport, and Tenzing-Hillary Airport (Lukla).
  • Pokhara Airport is located in the city of Pokhara and is the gateway to the popular Annapurna region.

FAQs about Airports in Nepal

Which is the largest airport in Nepal?

According to CAANepal, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is the largest airport in Nepal with an area of 3565350.49 sq. m.

Is Nepal airport safe?

Yes, Nepal airports are safe. Nepal is one of the safe countries to travel to. There are no reports of terrorist activities in Nepal.

Do I need a visa to fly to Nepal?

Yes, you need a visa to fly to Nepal. All foreign nationals are required to have a valid passport and a visa to enter Nepal except India.

Can I fly direct to Nepal?

Yes, you can fly direct to Nepal. You can fly direct to Nepal from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangkok, Bahrain, Dhaka, Karachi, Paro, Guanzhou, Lhasa, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and Dubai. You can also fly directly to Nepal from Seoul, Hong Kong, and Doha.

What are the international airports in Nepal?

There are two international airports in Nepal – Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA). TIA is the only international airport in Kathmandu, whereas GBIA is an international airport located in Lumbini, which is the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

How many domestic airports are there in Nepal?

There are a total of 51 domestic airports in Nepal. Of these, only 32 are in operation. The remaining airports are under construction or are yet to be constructed.

Which is the busiest airport in Nepal?

Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is the busiest airport in Nepal. It is the only international airport in the Kathmandu Valley and handles most of Nepal’s international and domestic air traffic.

What is the code of Tribhuvan International Airport?

The IATA code of Tribhuvan International Airport is KTM and the location indicator code is VNKT.

What is the code of Gautam Buddha International Airport?

The IATA code of Gautam Buddha International Airport is BWA and the location indicator code is VNBW.

Conclusion

Finally, the blog is written to enlighten the people who are traveling to Nepal. It is prepared to show major and operating airports in the country.

Also, this blog is written to provide information about 15 Major Airports in Nepal (International & Domestic) to the domestic, and foreign tourists traveling across Nepal.

Thank you for reading! See you on my next blog.

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Suraj is a travel enthusiast who believes in finding solace in the heart of nature. He enjoys exploring new destinations, different culture, and encouraging people to travel.

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