Nyingchi Mainling Airport

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Mainling, Xizang
9675 ft
Aerial View: 
29° 18' 19.782" N, 94° 20' 7.217" E


Nyingchi Mainling Airport is an airport in Mainling, Nyingchi Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (Xizang), China. It is suggested to be one of the most challenging instrument approaches in the world, since the airport is in a winding valley.

Mainling Airport is situated in the valley of the Yarlung Tsangpo River in the Southeast of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, surrounded by over 4,000 metres high mountains enveloped by clouds and fog throughout the year. Aircraft have to fly through the narrow and winding river valley to approach the airport. The narrowest flight path is less than 4 km from one mountain ridge along the valley to the opposite one. According to meteorological data, there are just 100 days overall with suitable weather to operate to the airport each year.


Nyingchi Mainling has a rather dry, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa), characterized by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Gobi Desert across the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, like spring, sees little rain, but is crisp and short. The monthly daily average temperature in January is -3.7 °C, while in July it is 26.2 °C. Precipitation averages around 570 mm annually, with close to three-fourths of that total falling from June to August. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 47% in July to 65% in January and February, the city receives 2,671 hours of bright sunshine annually. Extremes have ranged from -27.4 °C on 22 February 1966 to 42.6 °C on 15 June 1942.


Designator Length Width Surface Rops
5/23 3000 0 UNK Yes/Yes
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