4 Reasons Why Airplanes Don't Fly Over Tibet

Most of the reasons are related to the region's high elevation.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Did you know that airlines never fly over Tibet? There are four very specific reasons for this and most can be attributed to the region's elevation. The first is that there are only two airports in the region and both have complications when it comes to emergency landings. The first is Lhasa Gonggar Airport in Lhasa.

This region's elevation is 3,650 meters which means it takes a while for breathing to adjust. This is not an ideal situation for landings in case of emergencies. The second airport is Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, making it too far for emergency landings.

The second reason airlines never fly over Tibet is because of the emergency oxygen airplanes carry. In case of an emergency, planes have only 10 to 20 minutes of oxygen, enough for the plane to descend to a breathable elevation of 3,408 meters. Unfortunately, most of Tibet lies above 3,408 meters.

The third reason is because of something called engine out drift down procedures. If an airplane loses an engine it can still fly, just over a lower altitude. Unfortunately, once again, in Tibet, that altitude might be lower than the ground.

Finally, the fourth and final reason is that Tibet is a region that creates clean air turbulence on planes which is very destructive to an aircraft.

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