The launching pad for visitors to Mount Kailash, Mansarovar Lake, and rafting in the Karnali River
Simikot Airport is a domestic airport in Simikot Rural Municipality of Humla District, Karnali Province. The airport is located in the Hilsa region of northwest Nepal and manages high air traffic during its peak seasons.
The climate is pleasant and comfortable during the summer. During the winter the airport receives heavy snowfall. However, during the monsoon (July, August and mid- Sept), the weather turns unpredictable and stormy, leading to problems with flights.
Established in 1977, the airport started its service in the same year from March 18. It is the gateway to Mount Kailash, Mansarovar Lake, and rafting in the Karnali River which is considered very popular among tourist.
Airlines and Destinations
The majority of domestic airlines operate scheduled and chartered flights to the airport with priority and the trend is expected to continue and grow in the future.
The airport serves as the only means of transportation in this area. The road network connection to the area is yet to be constructed. Major airlines like Nepal Airlines, Tara Air, Summit Air, and Sita Air operate scheduled flights from the airport.
The IATA and ICAO codes for Simikot Airport are IMK and VNST respectively. The airport operates on a single runway which has recently been improved and extended with more infrastructures still being built.
Situated at an altitude of 2,910 meters above sea level the airport has a 549 meters long blacktopped runway. Simikot Airport is the gateway to the Hilsa Helipad which is the entry point for visitors traveling to the sacred Mansarovar region.
The Kailash Tour via Simikot is an excellent journey to Mt. Kailash which is one of the best trekking destinations in the remote western part of Nepal. Mansarovar is well-known as a holy site for Hindus.
The airport also serves many popular places like Limi valley, Simkot Lagna, Kermi village, Heldom village, etc. It takes 60 minutes to complete the flight from Nepalgunj to Simikot which covers a distance of 208 kilometers.
Complied by Rina Kumari Mandal a content writer at Nepaltraveller.