As the Gateway to Everest, most trekkers pass through Lukla Tenzing Hillary Airport—and many pause to admire its audacity.
Built in 1964 by Sir Edmund Hillary to fly in school and medical supplies for his Himalayan Trust projects, it sits like an eagle’s nest on a steep hillside beneath the Khumbu peaks. In high season, 20–30 flights a day land at Lukla. As you land, perhaps hop on a helicopter ride to Everest, imagine the chorus line of Sherpas mobilised to flatten and compact the earth with their stomping steps to make its 527-meter runway. but that’s not to say things are taken lightly. In fact, only experienced pilots who have completed at least 100 short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) missions are allowed to land here, and weather conditions are closely monitored.
2860m ( 9,383 ft)