Skardu Airport (IATA: KDU, ICAO: OPSD) is located in Skardu, a town in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The airport primarily serves as a gateway to the scenic and mountainous northern areas of Pakistan, including popular tourist destinations like Skardu, Shigar, and Baltistan.
The airport has a history that dates back several decades:
Early Stages: The airport was initially constructed as a simple airstrip to facilitate military and civilian flights to the region. The harsh terrain and weather conditions posed challenges for aviation operations.
Upgrades and Expansion: Over the years, the airport underwent several upgrades and expansions to improve its facilities and accommodate larger aircraft. These upgrades were undertaken to enhance tourism and economic activities in the region.
Commercial Operations: Skardu Airport eventually began hosting regular commercial flights, enabling travelers to access the stunning landscapes of Gilgit-Baltistan more conveniently.
Gilgit Airport: Gilgit Airport (IATA: GIL, ICAO: OPGT) serves the city of Gilgit, which is another important town in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Similar to Skardu, Gilgit is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and serves as a base for tourists exploring the region.
Historical Significance: Gilgit Airport has historical significance due to its role as a vital aerial link to this remote and mountainous region. It facilitated communication and transportation, especially during times when road access was limited due to weather conditions.
Infrastructure Improvement: Like Skardu Airport, Gilgit Airport also underwent improvements and upgrades to accommodate modern aviation needs, including larger aircraft and better passenger facilities.
Both Skardu and Gilgit airports have played crucial roles in boosting tourism and economic development in Gilgit-Baltistan. These airports have made it easier for travelers to access the region’s natural beauty, including the stunning Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, as well as cultural sites and local communities.
Please note that developments may have occurred after my last knowledge update in September 2021. After all these swift development activities, the dream of Skardu international airport is becoming reality. Skardu airport is hosting first international flight on Aug 14, 2023.