An important tourist connection goes from Tribhuvan International Airport (VNKT) in Kathmandu, at 4,390 ft, to Tenzing-Hillary Airport (VNLK) in Lukla, at 9,334 ft. The mountains around Lukla quickly raise from south to north. Right around Lukla the ridges rise to about 15,000 ft, but the aircraft does not have to fly over these, since decent approach is only possible through the valley from the south and the ridges are somewhat lower further south. So does anybody know what is actual typical cruise altitude in that area?


I am sure I have no knowledge for reading charts but en-route charts for Nepal indicate something like F170 which I translate to FL170 or 17,000 ft. Pls correct me if I misunderstand it.

Here is the source Nepal enroute chart

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the map. However, the B345/G348 that has the FL170 minimum is an IFR airway while the flights to VNLK are VFR. They may be using the KTM radial 94 drawn with thin line above, but I don't see any altitude mark on that one. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 19 '15 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ Agree that flights to VNLK are VFR. So I am out of luck here :) $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Jun 19 '15 at 12:00

You need to be between 13k - 9.1k ft for the Kathmandu to Lukla flight. This source would probably answer your question.

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    $\begingroup$ That is a simulator link; it's not clear whether the procedure is observed from reality or just guessed from map and simulator. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 19 '15 at 7:56
  • $\begingroup$ The simulators are expected to work by simulating real life situations I guess.!! $\endgroup$ – Victor Juliet Jun 19 '15 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Except I've never seen a simulator that would be able to simulate hypoxia and altitude sickness, which is the limiting factor in this case. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 19 '15 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ While deciding the altitude range for the flight, and before putting it into a simulator, I think the developers would have taken into account that what is the Altitude that the pilots are currently using for the given flight path, and hence the problems of altitude sickness and hypoxia would be solved automatically. $\endgroup$ – Victor Juliet Jun 19 '15 at 8:55
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    $\begingroup$ If it was a training simulator, yes. But a hobby one can't be taken as reliable reference. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 19 '15 at 8:58

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