Paro, Bhutan



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Paro Airport is one of four airports in the Kingdom of Bhutan and has the only asphalt runway. Located six kilometers from the city of Paro at an altitude of more than two thousand meters in the narrow valley of the Paro River, the airport is surrounded by five-thousand-meter peaks, therefore it is considered one of the most difficult on the planet. In addition to Paro, there are three more airports in Bhutan - Yongphulla airport in Tashigang city, Barthpalathang airport in the immediate vicinity of Jakar city, and Gelephu. It is also planned to create a network of small airports throughout the country.

The national carrier Drukair operates from and is based in Paro. It operates flights to the following directions: Bagdogra (India), Bangkok, Delhi, Dhaka, Gaya, Kathmandu, Kolkata. Flights are operated by Airbus A319.

In 2010, the government of Bhutan allowed Nepalese Buddha Air to fly in Paro. The flights are operated on Beechcraft 1900 aircraft. Flights started on 23.08.2010.

Even on the approach to Paro airport, you understand: here it is, really the fabulous kingdom of Bhutan. Everything here is unusual: the fantastic beauty of the Himalayan landscapes around, 5000-meter mountains on all sides of the runway, and finally, the incredible height of the airport itself - 2200 meters above sea level. One of the most difficult airports in the world to land, Paro receives flights from only three airlines - two Bhutanese and one Nepalese. And this is only partly the policy of limiting mass tourism in Bhutan. The second reason is trivial: there are only eight pilots in the world who have passed certification for the most difficult landing at Paro airport.

Paro Airport is located 6 km from the city of Paro, located in the southwestern part of Bhutan. The location of the airport in a deep valley on the bank of the river is caused by the peculiarities of the relief of Bhutan - since the absolute part of the country's territory is occupied by high mountains, this is practically the only place in Bhutan suitable for receiving aircraft.

Only three airlines land at Paro airport. The national air carrier Druk Air operates regular flights to Thailand (Bangkok), India (Kolkata, Delhi, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Gaya), Nepal (Kathmandu), Singapore and Bangladesh (Dhaka) on Airbus A319 aircraft. It is interesting that, given the difficult location of the airport in the highlands, the liners are equipped with more powerful engines from the A320.

Tashi Air, a private Bhutanese airline, runs between Paro, Bangkok and Kolkata. The only foreign air carrier - Nepalese "Buddha Air" operates flights to Kathmandu.

Paro Airport is very modest in size, with one asphalt runway and one passenger terminal. There are only four check-in counters in the departure hall (it should be noted that there are no queues for them). There is also only one boarding gate.

An ordinary ladder is served to the landing aircraft, passengers go out onto the airfield and follow on foot to the terminal.

Due to the high complexity of takeoff and landing, Paro Airport operates only during daylight hours and with good visibility. Dispatchers receive and release aircraft solely on the basis of current meteorological conditions. Therefore, flight delays can range from 12 to 24 hours, which must be taken into account when planning connections.