How are air routes created? Does it need ‘approval’ from another country? Nepal seems to have built several new international airports without air routes (or having to use the old one to TIA) and it’s being said India has to approve them and it apparently hasn’t yet.

Example airports : Gautam Buddha international Airport, Pokhara International Airport.

Reference: https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/amp/nepal-s-2nd-int-l-airport-ready-for-opening-amid-air-route-issues-with-india/news.html.twig

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    $\begingroup$ Related: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedoms_of_the_air Note that "freedoms" are not universal, each country can grant (or not grant) whatever freedoms they want to other countries, often via bilateral agreements (you allow my aircraft to do this in your country, I will allow yours to do the same in mine, usually with conditions attached like number of flights, fees, etc.) $\endgroup$
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ thank you, the link clears a lot of basics @jcaron. $\endgroup$
    – Regmi
    Commented Jan 3, 2023 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


Within its borders a country can create any system of routes it likes, without reference to any other country.

However, a route is only useful if it goes somewhere, so neighbouring countries must agree routes between them so that a contiguous route crosses the border.

The gist of the article you refer to is that the new Gautam Buddha airport will require access to Indian airspace for some operations, but that India is dragging its heels in granting such access.

A communiqué issued in 2014 suggested that access would be granted, but it seems it hasn't happened yet, for whatever reasons India has.

  • $\begingroup$ Makes sense @catchAsCatchCan. Looks like because the country is so small, part of the flight descent and ascent occurs in Indian airspace during arrival and departure respectively and thus an "agreement" is required. India "seems" to allow flights in and out of Nepal at or above 21000 ft without issues. airlimousines.in/index.php/aircrafts-charter-private-jets-faqs/… $\endgroup$
    – Regmi
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 1:28

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