Skardu Airport, also known as Skardu Civil Aviation Authority Airport, is located in Skardu, a city in the northern region of Pakistan. The airport is situated at an elevation of 2,226 meters above sea level and serves as a gateway to the scenic valleys of Baltistan and the Karakoram Range.
History of Skardu Airport
The airport was built in the 1960s by the Pakistan Air Force and was primarily used for military purposes. However, with the increase in tourism in the region, the airport was later opened for civil aviation in the 1980s. Over the years, the airport has undergone several renovations and upgrades to accommodate the growing number of tourists visiting the area.
Facilities at Skardu Airport
Skardu Airport has a single runway, which is 2,600 meters in length and is capable of handling a variety of aircraft, including turboprop and small jets. The airport has a modern terminal building, which was inaugurated in 2018, and provides various amenities to passengers, such as waiting lounges, restrooms, baggage claim, and check-in counters. Additionally, the airport has a parking lot for vehicles and several shops and restaurants.
Connectivity and Airlines Operating at Skardu Airport
Skardu Airport is well-connected to several major cities in Pakistan, including Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore, with regular flights operated by Pakistan International Airlines and other regional airlines. The flight duration from Islamabad to Skardu is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Tourism in Skardu and Surrounding Areas
Skardu and its surrounding areas are known for their stunning natural beauty and are a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in the area include:
- K2 Base Camp: K2, also known as Mount Godwin-Austen, is the second-highest mountain in the world and is located in the Karakoram Range. The base camp of K2 is a popular trekking destination and offers breathtaking views of the mountain and surrounding peaks.
- Deosai Plains: Deosai Plains is a high-altitude plateau located in the western Himalayas and is known for its rolling meadows, alpine forests, and diverse wildlife. The area is a popular destination for trekking and camping and is accessible from Skardu by road.
- Shigar Fort: Shigar Fort is a historic fort located in the Shigar Valley and was built in the 17th century. The fort was the residence of the former ruler of Skardu and has been recently restored and converted into a heritage hotel.
- Kachura Lakes: Kachura Lakes are a pair of glacial lakes located in the Skardu Valley and are known for their turquoise blue waters and stunning surroundings. The lakes are a popular destination for boating and picnicking.
Skardu Airport is an important gateway to the stunning valleys and mountains of northern Pakistan and is a crucial part of the region’s tourism industry. With its modern facilities and regular flights, the airport makes it easy for tourists to reach this picturesque area and explore its many natural wonders. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover, or simply looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, Skardu and its surrounding areas are sure to offer an unforgettable experience.