Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the sole international airport in Nepal, is one of the riskiest airports in the world and was ranked the second worst airport in Asia in 2016 based on security and customer services.
TIA is located about six kilometres from Kathmandu city, in the Kathmandu valley. The airport was inaugurated in 1955 and regular jet operations commenced in 1972.
Since its recognition as an international airport, TIA has regularly been identified as one of the worst airports in the world due to a high frequency of accidents.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), 70 accidents resulting in 650 deaths have been reported at TIA since it began operation, more than any other airport around the world.
On Monday, a plane of US-Bangla Airlines carrying 71 people from Bangladesh crashed at TIA, killing more than 50 passengers and once again raising the issue of faulty signalling and communications at the airport.
Sleeping in Airports, an airport review agency, conducted a survey in 2016 where it ranked Tashknet International Airport in Uzbekistan as the worst airport in the Asia, followed by Tribuvan Internaional Airport in Nepal in second place. The rankings are based on comfort, services, security and immigration.
Peshawar Bacha Khan International Airport in Pakistan, Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan and Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines were ranked as the third, fourth and fifth worst airport respectively.
Wali Khondoker, a former Biman high official, said: “They shouldn't operate propeller aircraft at a high altitude airport like TIA. Jet engines perform better than propellers in thin air.”