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Paro Airport

Paro Airport
Airport information
 Location of airport in Bhutan
Airport typePublic
OperatorDepartment of Civil Aviation
LocationParo District
Elevation2230 m (7300 ft)

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Paro Airport is the only international airport of Bhutan. The airport is located 6 km (3.7 mi) from Paro in a deep valley on the bank of the Paro river at an elevation of 7300 ft (1.4 mi).

With surrounding peaks as high as 18000 ft (3.4 mi) it is considered one of the world's most challenging airports, and as of October 2009, only eight pilots in the world are certified to land at the airport. Flights at Paro are allowed under visual meteorological conditions only and are restricted to daylight hours from sunrise to sunset.

Yongphulla Airport in Trashigang District is the only other airstrip in the country, which is yet undergoing re-construction. The Royal Bhutanese Government's 10th Five Year Plan (which covers 2008-2013) includes the building of at least two further domestic airstrips at Bathpalathang in Bumthang District, and at Gelephu in Sarpang District.

The second international airport project, which was planned for construction at the Gelephu site, was downgraded to a domestic airport project in October 2008. The Bhutanese Department of Civil Aviation indicated in January 2010, that the domestic airport at Gelephu may have provisions to be expanded into an 'all weather' airport, capable of receiving international traffic in the future. Construction is due to start in late 2010, with the airport is due to start operations in June 2011.

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