Lukla Airport - One Sweet Ride
Continuing on from our infrequent series "Jess + Steve Honeymoon Nepal" here is just one photo to check out.
This is the airport we flew into to start our Trek to Mt Everest. If you're thinking: "hey, that runway looks really short" and "hey, that runway looks like it goes down hill" and "hey, that runway looks like it goes straight off the edge of a cliff at one end" and "hey, that runway looks like it has a brick wall at the other end" - then, you would be completely right on all counts.
Not a flight for nervous flyers. From Wikipedia:
Tenzing-Hillary Airport (IATA: LUA, ICAO: VNLK), also known as Lukla Airport, is a small airport in the town of Lukla, in Khumbu, Solukhumbu district, Sagarmatha zone, eastern Nepal. In January 2008, the airport was renamed in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first persons to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The History Channel program Most Extreme Airports, ranks it as the most dangerous airport in the world.
The airport is popular since Lukla is the place where most people start their climb of Mount Everest. There are daily flights between Lukla and Kathmandu during daylight hours and good weather. Although the flying distance is short, it can easily be raining in Lukla while the sun is shining brightly in Kathmandu. The paved tarmac is only accessible to helicopters and small fixed wing short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft such as Twin Otters or Dornier Do 228. There is about a 700-metre (2,000 ft) angled drop at the end of the runway to the valley below. The airport is contained within a chain link fence and patrolled by the Nepal armed police or civil police around the clock.