Operations At Kathmandu Airport Following Nepal Earthquake And Aftershock


Operations at Kathmandu Airport following Nepal earthquake and aftershock

Niamh McNamara | - 04/27/2015
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Kathmandu airport KTM / VNKT

The Indian Director General of Civil Aviation has put a hold to all overfly clearances pertaining to Relief flights for Kathmandu VNKT on Nepal Civil Aviation Authority’s request.

This is due to the non-availability of slots at present and the excessive congestion VNKT is currently experiencing. UAS is currently working to get permission as soon as possible once the slots get through with Nepal CAA.

Operations at Kathmandu airport has been severely impacted since Saturday’s earthquake and Sunday’s aftershock. The airport has announced that it is fully operational 24 hours a day, however in the case of aftershocks being felt, it will close immediately. UAS Indian Subcontinent Regional Office in New Delhi can provide a supervisor in VNKT within 24 hours’ notice of a confirmed operation.

Ambulance and Humanitarian Aid

UAS can fully support the approval process and handling set up for every ambulance flight and humanitarian aid flight. We require the proposed schedule and aircraft details to facilitate the arrival approval.

Please note that parking restrictions may be in place based on activity levels.

Precautions at VNKT

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and the Tribhuvan International Airport Disaster Response Team have assessed the runway for damage. As a precaution they have placed a landing and take-off weight restriction limit of 196,000KGS only. This is due to concerns that the runway surface strength has been weakened by the earthquake.


Email, SITA and AFTN are currently not operational. Phone calls are the only reliable means of communication, although this too has been ineffective at times due to staff members taking shelter during aftershocks.

Simulator Training Requirement

An additional operational concern is that VNKT airport normally requires the PIC to hold a Certificate of advanced training in the simulator before operations are approved. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has indicated they are willing to review this on a case by case basis for ambulance and humanitarian aid flights. Operators should check this out with their regulatory authority and hull insurers.

For more information or enquiries please contact our Operations team.