Bathpalathang Airport

Bathpalathang Airport
Summary
Airport typePublic
OperatorDepartment of Civil Aviation
ServesJakar, Bhutan
Elevation AMSL2,700 m / 8,858 ft
Coordinates27°33′46″N 090°44′47″E / 27.56278°N 90.74639°E / 27.56278; 90.74639Coordinates: 27°33′46″N 090°44′47″E / 27.56278°N 90.74639°E / 27.56278; 90.74639
Map
BUT is located in Bhutan
BUT
BUT
Location of the airport in Bhutan
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
14/32 1,200 3,937 Asphalt
Source: DAFIF

Bathpalathang Airport (IATA: BUT, ICAO: VQBT) is a domestic Bhutanese airport in Jakar (Bjakar), Bumthang District.[1] One of only four airports in the country, it opened on 17 December 2011 with flights to Paro.[2] The airport suspended operations in July 2012 due to runway damage,[3] but it has since reopened to limited service.[4]

Overview

The airport was in development from the Royal Bhutanese Government's 10th Five Year Plan (2008). The airport was originally scheduled to open in October 2010,[5][6] and then delayed to November 2010.[7] By December 2010, operations were pushed back to March 2011,[8][9] then April 2011.[10] Shortages in the spring prompted a new target date of July 2011, however the airport had not yet opened for operations through late 2011.[11][12]

Airport construction at Bathpalathang met several delays, including soil instability under the runway,[7][13] funding,[14] labor and material shortages,[11] and nearby river protection and diversion,[5][15] each of which underpinned the ultimate success of any airport at the site. Despite assurances by government personnel and contractors that the airport would be completed on time, it was completed significantly behind schedule.[7][15] Further complications arose from legislated land and property compensation schemes for those who were forced to relocate to accommodate the airport.[16]

Both Druk Air and Tashi Air conducted inaugural flights to Bathpalathang on 17 December 2011, coinciding with the national day of Bhutan.[2][17] However, Druk Air's inaugural flight failed to make a profit.[18]

A redevelopment project is underway as of April 2015, with a cost of over Nu 15 million. The first phase, the construction of an apron capable of handling 2 ATR aircraft, is nearing completion. The second phase involves the construction of a terminal building. Once the terminal has been built, the new apron will begin to be used.[4]

Airlines and destinations

AirlinesDestinations
Drukair Gelephu, Paro, Trashigang

See also

References

  1. ^ Wangdi, Nima (2006-10-23). "Bumthaps Warm Up for Winter". Kuensel online. Retrieved 2011-09-08.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Dorji, Gyalsten K (2011-12-19). "On Drukair's Historic Flight". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  3. ^ "Bathpalathang airport shares similar fate". 16 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Bathpalathang airport lacks safety measures". April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Yeshi, Samten (2010-06-02). "River Diversion Work Begins". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  6. ^ Wangchuk, Samten (2010-06-01). "Who'll Take Wing". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  7. ^ a b c "Bathpalathang Airport Will not Complete on Time". Bhutan Broadcasting Service. 2010-08-14. Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  8. ^ Dorji, Gyalsten K (2009-11-26). "2 Domestic Airports by 2010". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  9. ^ Pelden, Sonam (2010-01-08). "Groundwork Begins for Taking to the Air". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  10. ^ Dorji, Gyalsten K (2011-02-09). "An April Beginning?". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  11. ^ a b Yeshi, Samten (2011-05-20). "Second Deadline Likely to be Missed". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  12. ^ Tenzin, Tashi (2011-09-08). "Picture Story – So Close Yet So Far". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  13. ^ Yeshi, Samten (2010-08-18). "Quality Outweighs Deadline". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  14. ^ Dema, Kesang (2010-09-21). "Penalty Paid ... From One Pocket to Another". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  15. ^ a b Saraswati (2010-12-10). "Despite River Training Works, Bathpalathang Airport Will Finish on Time". Business Bhutan online. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  16. ^ Yeshi, Samten (2011-02-01). "Unresolved Land Issues in Bumthang". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  17. ^ "Aerial photo". 2011-12-29. Archived from the original on 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  18. ^ Dorji, Gyalsten K (2011-12-23). "Drukair's Maiden Flight Fails to Break Even". Kuensel online. Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
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