Ngari Gunsa Airport Facts
Ngari Gunsa Airport is a dual-use military and civil airport serving the town of Shiquanhe in Ngari Prefecture, in the southwest of China's Tibet Autonomous Region near the Indian border. It started operations on 1 July 2010, becoming the fourth civil airport in Tibet after Lhasa, Nyingchi, and Qamdo airports.
Situated at 4,274 m above sea level, Gunsa Airport is the fourth highest airport in the world after Daocheng Yading Airport, Qamdo Bamda Airport, and Kangding Airport. Gunsa airport has a 4,500-meter runway. It is expected to handle 120,000 passengers by 2020. Construction began in May 2007 and cost an estimated 1.65 billion yuan .
As Shiquanhe is only a one-day bus drive (about 330 km) from the settlement of Darchen situated just north of Lake Mansarovar, facing Mount Kailash, it is expected to benefit pilgrims to these two sites, which are considered sacred by Hindus, Buddhists, Bonpa and Jains. With the opening of Shigatse Peace Airport in October 2010, the five airports, coupled with the Qinghai–Tibet railway and a network of roads, are expected to increase tourism to scenic and holy sites in Tibet.