UPDATE (April 29, 2022):
The newly inaugurated Skardu International Airport is all set to handle its first international flight next month. The airport, which was previously only operational for domestic flights, had its status elevated on December 2, 2021, following major renovations.
According to a letter issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, an international chartered flight will arrive in Skardu on May 13, 2022, from Munich, Germany. The flight will then depart for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on May 16, 2022.
Surrounded by snow-covered mountain peaks, mesmerizing rivers and the famous cold desert, the Skardu Airport is certainly a thing of beauty. It is a small facility situated at an altitude of about 7316 feet in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Presently, this domestic airport connects Skardu to the capital city of Islamabad, though direct flights between Skardu and Karachi are also expected to start in near future.
The charming airport is used by both domestic and foreign travellers for visiting Skardu valley, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Pakistan. In fact, it is considered a veritable piece of heaven on earth.
Let’s find out a bit more about Skardu Airport.
Overview of Skardu Airport
Skardu Airport is a domestic airport located in Skardu, a beautiful city that serves as the capital of the Skardu District in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. The airport complex has two asphalt runways, though only one is operational at the moment. The functional runway at this airport is about 12,000 feet long and is considered the longest in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the other Skardu Airport runway is approximately 8,740 feet long.
The apron at this airport has the capacity to hold up to three Boeing 737 aircraft at a time. The airport is also equipped with the latest specialized aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles Oshkosh ARFF. Presently, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) connects the Skardu Airport to Islamabad International Airport through two ATR42 flights on a daily basis. A flight from Islamabad to Skardu and vice versa takes about 45 minutes As per the reports published in local newspapers, more airlines are soon expected to begin their operations in Skardu.
Much like the other airports in Pakistan, this airport complex in Skardu is also managed and operated by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority.
Although it is relatively small, this airport in Gilgit-Baltistan caters to a large number of domestic and foreign tourists every year. A significant chunk of travellers and adventure seekers who arrive in Skardu to explore the picturesque Satpara and Kachura Lakes, visit the scenic Manthoka Waterfall, go trekking in the Deosai National Park, take a trip to Shigar and Khaplu forts, or simply spend a few days at the remarkable Shangrila Resort, prefer flying to Skardu instead of getting there by road. Therefore, this airport plays a major role in boosting tourism in the region.
The airport is located on mountainous terrain, which means travellers are able to see the snow-covered mountain tops upon landing and while taking off. During summer, this airport remains operational from dawn to dusk. However, it has to be closed in winter months due to heavy snowfall.
It is also important to mention that plans to upgrade Skardu Airport to an international airport are currently in work. Moreover, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority also plans to build a new terminal building and Air Traffic Control Tower at this airport.
Code of Skardu Airport
The International Airport Transport Association, more commonly referred to as IATA, awards a unique code to each airport in the world for smooth and secure flight operation. The IATA code of Skardu Airport is KDU.
Similarly, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, also known as ICAO, also provides airports with a unique code for operational reasons. The ICAO code of Skardu Airport is OPSD.
Location of Skardu Airport
Skardu Airport is located about 18 kilometres from the main city in the northwest direction.
Most hotels in Skardu provide shuttle service to and from the airport for their guests, so you don’t have to worry about transportation if you have already booked a room in the city. Other than that, you can also rent a car or get a private taxi to reach your destination once you arrive at the airport.
Airlines Operating at Skardu Airport
Presently, only PIA is operating the flights to this airport in Gilgit Baltistan. It is recommended to reach the airport at least two hours before the flight.
If you are interested in learning more about the national flag carrier of Pakistan, make sure to take a look at our guide detailing the history, flight operations, ticket prices, and facilities offered by the Pakistan International Airlines.
Facilities at Skardu Airport
The airport in Skardu may be small, but it is equipped with all the amenities and facilities required for hassle-free travel. It has a spacious parking area, well-maintained arrival and departure lounges, as well as a separate VIP lounge. The passengers also have access to bathrooms and a cafeteria.
Skardu Airport Contact Details
Here is the address of Skardu Airport.
Address: Airport Road, Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan
For more information, you can contact the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority
Phone Number: 021-99071111
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to buy a ticket to Skardu, you’ll have to get in touch with the PIA Contact Centre.
Phone Number: 0330-0786786
Hotels in Skardu
The stunning lakeside Shangrila Resort is easily the most popular place to stay in Skardu among tourists and adventure seekers alike. The unique Tibetan-inspired architecture and top-notch amenities make it an ideal place to spend your vacations.
Similarly, Hotel One Skardu, Mountain Lodge Holiday Home, Hotel Himalaya Skardu, and Hotel Reego are also among the top-rated hotels in Skardu.
It is also pertinent to mention that October is considered the best month to visit Skardu if you want to enjoy the fall season. Otherwise, you can plan your trip to this enchanting wonderland anytime between April to October.
This brings an end to our guide on the Skardu Airport. You can also take a look at our detailed overviews of the Islamabad International Airport, Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, and Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar.
For more information on different airports as well as places to visit in Skardu, stay connected to Zameen Blog – the best lifestyle, tourism and property blog in Pakistan.
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