Science

Why Planes Do Not Fly Over Tibet

Known as “The Roof of the World”, Tibet is a region where airplanes do not prefer to fly because of several technical issues

Before reading the article, we would like you to check a thing. You are supposed to check how many live flights are present in Tibet or in that region. Are you done? How many did you find? One or maybe zero? Allow us to inform you that Tibet is the only region in the world that is not preferred by airline companies at all. It is an area where even the best of commercial pilots dislike flying. But why? In this clickbait, we have listed the top reasons airlines hate flying over Tibet. 

Altitude- Tibet is situated on the Tibetan Plateau which is spread across an area of 2,500,000 square kilometres. Not to forget, it is also the world’s largest and highest plateau, with an elevation of around 15,000 feet. Also, one cannot overlook the fact that Tibet is bordered by Mount Everest (the world’s highest peak) and K2 (the world’s second-highest peak). Since these two peaks are present in the region, it is not possible for a commercial plane to manoeuvre around these peaks because there is a massive chance of crashing into the Everest or K2. 

Flying above these two peaks is impossible because of the altitude. The height of Mount Everest is close to 30,000 feet; a height which commercial flights can fly at. However, at that altitude, the air pressure and oxygen are extremely thin because of which, the environment becomes dangerous for the passengers. 

Lack of airports- In the region, there are only two airports: Lhasa Gonggar (Tibet) and Tribhuvan Airport (Nepal). Since these two are the only airports in the region, making emergency flight landings are next to impossible. Not to overlook, the two airports are far away from each other. Also, not every commercial pilot is trained or experienced enough to make landings at such high altitude airports.

Clean air turbulence- Since there are too many mountains present in the region, airflow is often disrupted by the mountains because of which clean air turbulence is often created; a phenomenon that the best of pilots cannot predict. Last but not least, the presence of strong perpendicular winds makes it harder for the pilots to fly the plane. 

Rohit Chatterjee

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Rohit Chatterjee is a bona fide moto-enthusiast who has worked with several media houses in his brief career. Chatterjee mostly writes features and news articles related to automobiles and motorsports. When not working, he is found on the interstate clocking over 100kmph on his NS200!
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