The Paro International Airport is situated in the Paro Valley at an elevation of 2,235 meters. So treacherous is the landing that only eight pilots in the world are qualified to land there. The runway is just 6,500 feet long – one of the few in the world shorter than their elevation above sea level.
Strong winds whip through the valleys, often resulting in severe turbulence. Passengers who have been on flights to the airport have described the landing as ‘terrifying’. Boeing has said that Paro airport is ‘one of the world’s most difficult for takeoffs and landings’. Flights are only allowed during the daytime and under visual meteorological conditions – strict light allowances in which the pilot must make his judgments by eye rather than rely on instruments as is the case in nighttime flights. (Rick Dewsbury)
Only Druk Air operates Domestic flights in Bhutan. Domestic flights in Bhutan is not so popular due to less number of locals using the airlines. Airlines only operates in peak season where tourist flow is good. Bhutan have 3 domestic Airfield which includes:
Yongphula Airport in Trashingang Eastern Bhutan, Bathpalathng Airport in Bumthang central Bhutan and Gelephu Airport in Southern Bhutan.
Yongphulla Airport (IATA: YON, ICAO: VQTY) also known as Yonphula Airport is a domestic airport in Bhutan one of four airports in the country. It is located near the town of Trashigang eastern Bhutan.
While the airport reopened in January 2013, following a complete resurfacing of the runway, Drukair scheduled flights to Yongphulla remained suspended because of regulatory requirements and further safety concerns. The ATR 42-500 used by Druk air for domestic services, while able to land on the 3.8 percent gradient runway, was prohibited from doing so in commercial flight operations, as there was a limitation in the aircraft manual of 2 percent gradient. Additionally, Druk air highlighted concerns with a ‘hump’ in the runway, on the grounds that it may cause long-term structural damage to their aircraft. Druk air 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.
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. The closure lasted for over four years. The airport was re-opened on 8 October 2017 by Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay after the runway was upgraded to international standards.
(IATA: BUT, ICAO: VQBT) is a domestic Bhutanese airport in Jakar (Bjakar), Bumthang District. One of only four airports in the country, it opened on 17 December 2011 with flights to Paro. The airport suspended operations in July 2012 due to runway damage but it has since reopened to limited service.
(IATA: GLU, ICAO: VQGP) is located in Samtenling Gewog about three kilometres (1.9 miles) from the town of Gelephu in Sarpang District Bhutan. The airport has been constructed on an area spanning over 500 acres (200 ha) and came into regular use in late 2017. It is one of only four airports in Bhutan.
- Airbus A319
- ATR 42-500 (For domestic flights)
- ATR 72-500
- BAe 146
Publishing of first model developments via TerraSync started in 07/2013. The development of the scenery The Kingdom of Bhutan started 2014. At this time, there were already 2 airports. Paro Intl. Airport and Yonphula Airport (both available via Terra Sync).