Flying can be an exhilarating experience, with the thrill of soaring above the clouds and the anticipation of reaching your destination. However, for some travelers, the most exciting part of their journey is the approach to their destination's airport. There are many airports around the world that are known for their dramatic and breathtaking approach, but one airport stands out above the rest – Paro International Airport in Bhutan. Let's have a closer look at why people do love this option exactly and learn all the key details you need to know before making your own choice.
Why do travelers love Paro's approach exactly?
Located in the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Paro International Airport is considered one of the most challenging and dangerous airports in the world. The airport is surrounded by steep mountains and deep valleys, and the runway is only 6,500 feet long, making it one of the shortest commercial runways in the world. The approach to the airport is a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns as the plane navigates through the narrow valleys, often coming within just a few feet of the mountain walls.
The approach to Paro International Airport isn't for the faint of heart. Pilots must be specially trained and certified to fly into the airport, and the landing requires precision and skill. The approach begins with a sharp turn to the right, as the plane navigates around the towering Himalayan peaks. The runway comes into view as the plane descends through the narrow valley, with the mountains looming on either side.
As the plane approaches the runway, it must make a sharp turn to the left to align with the runway, often at just a few hundred feet above the ground. The plane must then descend rapidly to make a safe landing on the short runway, with little margin for error. The landing is often accompanied by the sound of screeching brakes and the smell of burning rubber as the plane comes to a stop.
Source: Adli Wahid/Unsplash
Despite the challenges, Paro International Airport is an important gateway to Bhutan, with several airlines offering flights to and from the airport. For many travelers, the dramatic approach is a highlight of their trip, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains and a thrill that cannot be found anywhere else.
However, the airport's unique location and challenging approach have also led to concerns about safety. In 2019, the European Union banned Bhutanese airlines from flying to Europe, citing concerns about safety standards. The Bhutanese government has since taken steps to improve safety, including investing in new equipment and training for pilots.
In conclusion, Paro International Airport is truly the world's most dramatic airport approach, offering a thrilling and unforgettable experience for travelers. While it isn't without its risks, the airport's unique location and challenging approach make it a must-visit destination for aviation enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike.
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Source: Aaron Santelices/Unsplash
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