Does Nepal play host to the world’s most dangerous airport? BBC news reporter Yogita Limaye, makes the brave trip to Lukla to investigate.
Applauding a pilot when he or she manages to land an aircraft safely, has become less common place within recent years, perhaps because statistically you are more likely to be involved in a car collision than a plane crash. We have therefore adjusted as passengers to an idea that we will be in safe hands within an aircraft. However, when passengers arrive safely at a runway which is the gateway to Mount Everest, you can imagine the reaction to a safe landing is rather different. If the aircraft misses the runway by a few feet, you will be facing the reality of colliding into a mountain.
The airport, which was carved out of the side of a mountain in 1965, has become the only way for thousands of mountaineers and trekkers to reach the famous Everest region. It has therefore had to manage handling up to 79 flights on one day, even though there is often news about the different crashes. The airport does not just enable mobility, it also brings in many of the areas key resources, and whilst there is a constant risk of survival, the airport has quickly become Lukla’s most vital asset.