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Airports in Bhutan - 4 Places That Connect The Country To The World

  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Thu Dec 24, 2020
Paro International Airport

Tourists from all over the world lures to Bhutan's mesmerizing country settled into the laps of the Himalayas. Bhutan is the only country that measures the happiness potions of its people and has a carbon negative environment. The Buddhist country is renowned for its monasteries, temples, rich culture and beautiful natural landscape. Despite the fact that it is one of the magical countries and a popular tourist destination, Bhutan only has few airports to fly in the tourist to the country. Bhutan is a famous tourist destination with only four large airports that offer its services for visitors from all over the world. If you want to know more about the airports in Bhutan, keep reading the blog.

We are sure that these details will help you reach your dream destination- Bhutan at ease. If you want to know more about the visa and packages available to Bhutan, you can check our blog. If you have any queries or confusion about your next travel to Bhutan, we are happy to help you. You can contact us via the number given at the website or leave a comment so that we can get back to you.

Recommended Read: Places To Visit In Bhutan

1. Paro International Airport

Paro International Airport is located in the valley town of Paro in Bhutan. It is the first and only international airport established in the year 1968. The Indian Border Roads Organization established the runway in the valley in 1969. Later in 1981, Druk Air which is Bhutan’s first aircraft was built by the Royal Charter. Paro Airport is an enthralling place to be at with an elevation of 2235m above the sea level and bounded by the tall mountains as high as the 5500m. Paro Airport is small in size with only one terminal and a runway.

In 1990, the airport's runway was increased to 1964m from 1402m, where heavier aircraft could fly over. By 2012, Paro International Airport accounted for 181,659 tourists who used the terminal. Flying over the clouds into the Paro International Airport, you can see 18000ft mountain peaks on either side of you. Few certified pilots fly into the Himalayan valley. The runway is as thrilling as it gets as it is situated between the mountain foliage. In fact, there are only eight pilots who are certified to land at the Paro Airport yet over 30,000 people are coming to this beautiful country each year.

You can use the service of the airport if you are visiting to places like Chhukha, Daga, Chirang, Ha and Tsirang. Landing at the Paro International Airport will be an incredible and enjoyable memory in your life and is certainly a beautiful place to be at.

Type of Airport: 

International Airport

Distance from the city: 

7 km

Major airlines operating: 

Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines

Choose this airport if you are traveling to: 

Chhukha, Daga, Chirang, Ha and Tsirang

2. Gelephu Airport

Gelephu Airport is one of the domestic airports in Bhutan located at Samtenling, Gewong. It is situated near the small town of Gelephu in the Sarpang district of Bhutan. The airport was established in 2008 and was planned to be an international terminal. But due to the financial and physical problem, it kept running on intervals. Finally, it started working in 2017. The Royal Bhutanese Government decided to rerun the airport services in November 2017 after the concise period of flights in 2015. Gelephu Airport has only one airplane in operation which is Druk Air. It flies to and from Jakar and Paro.

Type of Airport: 

Domestic Airport

Distance from the city: 

3 km from Gelephu

Major airlines operating: 

Druk Air

Choose this airport if you are traveling to: 

Gyenyan Lhakhang and Tali Dratshang

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3. Bathpalathang Airport

Bathpalathang is situated near the Jakar district of Bhutan which started operating from the year 2011. It only had the flight from and to Paro but later the operation was suspended in 2012. There were few laidback which includes material shortage, waterway diversion and so on. Due to these reasons, the government and contractual workers could not finish the project on time and was scheduled later. The Bathpalathang airport is the most up to date airplane in Bhutan. The airport reopened and has two flights- Druk Air which flies to ad from Paro and Gelephu; Bhutan Airlines flies from and to Thimphu and Paro. The airport is only 5-6km away from Jakar and you can use this airport if you were traveling to Bumthang Bhutan and Chamkhar Valley.

Type of Airport: 

Domestic Airport

Distance from the city: 

5-6 km from Jakar

Major airlines operating: 

Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines

Choose this airport if you are traveling to: 

Chamkhar Valley, Bumthang Bhutan

4. Yongphulla Airport

Yongphulla Airport

Located near Trashigang in Bhutan, Yongphulla Airport was initially established in the 1960s by the Indian Army. It only had one airstrip which was not used at its optimal level. Yongphulla Airport was an airstrip back then on a bumpy and uneven territory. During the mid- 2000s, the airplane was refurbished into a viable airport. However, later in late 2013, the air terminal was reported to be shut until 2015. It went on for over four years. The airplane was re-established in 2017 by the Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay after the runway met the international standards. Druk Air and Bhutanese Airline are mainly operating in this airport which travels from and to Jakar and Paro. It is 20-25 km away from Trashigang and is feasible to take the airport if you are traveling to Thimphu, Paro or Jakar.

Type of Airport

Domestic Airport

Distance from the city:

20-25 km from Trashigang

Major airlines operating from this airport:

Bhutanese Airlines, Druk Air

Choose this airport if you are traveling to:

Jakar, Thimpu/Paro

If you plan a trip to Bhutan and love to know more about the packages available, check our website where we have sorted out all kinds of packages that will give you the best of Bhutan in just a few days. If you still have any queries or confusion on Bhutan or its airports, you can simply contact us. Leave a comment or a feedback and we will get back to you soon.

Where to travel next?

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is Bhutan?

Bhutan is a small country settled in between India and the Tibetan region of China. Bhutan is known as “Land of Thunder Dragon,” which is a stunning destination to be at. The country is filled with brilliant views of the mountains, landscape and rich culture.

2. Why should I visit Bhutan?

Bhutan is one of the best destinations to visit. The country is filled with ancient culture, mesmerizing landscape, amazing festivals and warm hospitality of the local people. You can experience the cultural and natural beauty in this magical land. Known as the Last Shangri-La, this Buddhist country is truly a country that you must visit in your lifetime.

3. Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan?

Yes, you will need a visa to enter Bhutan, except if you are a citizen of India, Maldives, and Bangladesh. If you are a foreigner, you will need to process via a local tour operator. The passport should be valid and you must pay the visa fee of USD 40 per person.

4. What documents do I need to have?

You will need mainly two documents such as a visa confirmation letter that the tour operator arranges before the trip and the itinerary of the tour you are taking on. The visa will then be stamped in your passport after arriving at Paro International Airport.

5. How do I enter Bhutan?

There are mainly two ways to enter Bhutan. You can either use the airways services or use the roadways. If you fly by air, you can fly on Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines from Kathmandu, Dhaka, Bangkok, Singapore, and other Indian cities like Bagdogra, Gaya, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Guwahati.

If you are traveling via the roadways, you can either enter Bhutan via the West Bengal border to enter Phuntsholing from the southwest or Samdrup Jongkhar from the southeast.

6. What is the weight limit for luggage on Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines?

You can carry 20kg in economy class and 30kg in business class in Druk Air. You will be given 5kg extra for storing in the overhead baggage bin.

In Bhutan Airlines' case, you can carry 30kg in economy class and 40kg in business class.

7. Why So Few Pilots Are Allowed At Bhutan’s Paro Airport?

Bhutan’s Paro International Airport is listed as the 'world’s most dangerous airports.' But there is nothing to get scared of! Less than 12 pilots are qualified to land in this airport. The runway is between 18,000 ft peaks with a long, winding terrain and is 7,431 ft long, and can be seen only moments before landing. Very few pilots are certified to land at Bhutan’s Paro International Airport and the best ones are chosen from thousands of the pilots. Flights are allowed during daylight only with good visual landmarks.

  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Thursday Dec 24, 2020

Recent Comments

Tau Suttikul | Wed Jan 12, 2022
How come I don't know about Bathpalathang Airport? Thanks for the info
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Derrick Perez | Sat May 15, 2021
My experience while landing on Paro International Airport was literally adventurous. Some may find it scary but it was a thrill to me. Salute to those pilots who are flying on regular basis to Paro.
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Naba Raj

About Author - Naba Raj Amgai

Naba Raj Amgai, stepped into the world of travel and tourism in 1996. He is Founder and Managing Director of Third Rock Adventures.

Beginning his journey in the tourism industry as a humble Porter Guide to founding hospitality establishments and an adventure travel company, he has come a long way.

In a career spanning more than two decades, he has achieved more than anybody dreams of achieving. Along with his professional achievements, his selfless contribution towards his community and society has won him a lot of accolades and praises.

Having dedicated more than two decades in the tourism and hospitality sector, he has amassed a wealth of experience.

After passing high school, he began helping out some trekking guides and was soon recruited as a porter guide at a reputed trekking agency. Within a short time, he was individually guiding clients across the well-known trails of the Himalayas.

He went on to lead tour groups on multi-country tours to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. Being a part of mountain climbing expeditions familiarised him with expedition logistics and operations. Later on, he went to become the Executive Director and took over the reins of Operations, Sales and Marketing departments. Spending several years in the tourism field has made Naba Raj Amgai a destination expert.

Travelling is his passion and he has been to many countries across the world – USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Holland, Germany, Austria and many parts of Asia.

His journeys to different parts of the world have enriched his travel experience and knowledge. This experience has been instrumental in planning and organizing successful trips for several clients.

As of today many reputed travel companies, hotels and restaurants are under his leadership. A dynamic and proactive leader, he continues to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life.

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