Yongphulla Airport

Yonphula Airport
Airport typePublic
OperatorDepartment of Civil Aviation
ServesTrashigang, Bhutan
Elevation AMSL2,743 m / 9,000 ft
Coordinates27°15′23″N 091°30′52″E / 27.25639°N 91.51444°E / 27.25639; 91.51444
YON is located in Bhutan
Location of airport in Bhutan
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 1,266 4,154 Asphalt
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Yongphulla Airport (IATA: YON, ICAO: VQTY)[2] (also known as Yonphula Airport) is a domestic airport in Bhutan, one of the country's four airports. It is located near Trashigang.[3]


The airport was originally constructed by the Border Roads Organisation in the 1960s.[4] Yongphulla Airport was a simple airstrip at that time, located high atop mountainous terrain and largely unused. In the early 2000s, the airport was renovated with the aim of becoming a domestic airport.[5] It was completed and inaugurated in December 2011. Six months later it closed for runway surface repairs, after Drukair suspended operations citing safety concerns. During construction, budget constraints had allowed only half of the runway to receive 'patchwork repairs'. The runway had not been resurfaced since the 1960s.[6]

When the airport reopened in January 2013, following a complete resurfacing of the runway, Drukair scheduled flights to Yongphulla remained suspended because of regulatory requirements and further safety concerns. The ATR 42-500 used by Drukair for domestic services, while able to land on the 3.8% gradient runway, was prohibited from doing so in commercial flight operations, as there was a limitation in the aircraft manual of a 2% gradient.[7] Additionally, Drukair highlighted concerns with a 'hump' in the runway, on the grounds that it may cause long-term structural damage to their aircraft. Drukair also asked for the two hillocks on either side of the runway to be removed on the grounds that the airport is prone to strong crosswinds and these represent a hazard to aircraft in such conditions.[6]

In 2013 the airport closed to all air traffic, due to the lack of fire service cover and to allow significant structural repairs to the airfield.[6] The airport re-opened on 8 October 2017 after the runway was upgraded to international standards.[8]


The airport resides at an elevation of 9,000 ft (2,700 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 12/30 with an Asphalt surface measuring 4,154 by 120 feet (1,266 m × 37 m).[5][9][10]

Airlines and destinations

Drukair Jakar, Paro

See also


  1. ^ Airport information from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
  2. ^ a b "Trashigang Yongphulla - ch-aviation.com". ch-aviation. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Bhutan Portal". Bhutan.gov.bt. 2009-02-11. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  4. ^ "Project DANTAK completes 60 years in Bhutan". pib.gov.in. Retrieved 2021-10-17.
  5. ^ a b "Kuensel Newspaper - Domestic air service to take wing soon". Kuenselonline.com. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  6. ^ a b c "Yonphula airport shuts down earlier than planned". KuenselOnline. Archived from the original on 2014-12-13. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Blog Archive » Drukair Yonphula flights up in the air". kuenselonline. 2012-01-04. Archived from the original on 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  8. ^ "Yongphula Domestic Airport reopens to air traffic". Bhutan Broadcasting Service. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Airport YONGPHULLA". Fallingrain.com. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  10. ^ "photos of airport Yongphula ( YBH / VQTY )". planes.cz. Archived from the original on 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2012-03-20.

External links

  • kuenselonline.com
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