Skardu Airport: History, Location and Much More

Skardu is known all over the world for the climbing and mountaineering expeditions it offers. The city is home to K2, the world’s second-highest mountain and Pakistan’s highest mountain. The city’s beauty, culture, heritage, and hospitality attract millions of visitors every year from all over the world.

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The Skardu Airport is a masterpiece, surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks, spellbinding rivers, and the renowned cold desert. It’s a small modest facility in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan area, at a height of roughly 7316 feet. brings you all you need to know about the Skardu Airport.


Skardu Airport After Snowfall - , Gilgit-Baltistan , Pakistan


The airport connects Skardu to Islamabad. Following substantial repairs and modifications, the airport’s status was declared and re-inaugurated to Skardu International Airport on December 2, 2021, to make it a tourism hub for Gilgit-Baltistan.

Ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated it in order to boost Gilgit Baltistan’s economic progress and development. It welcomed its first international flight in May 2022. It was previously only operational for domestic flights. The Pakistan Air Force uses it as a forward operating facility.

Domestic and international visitors use the picturesque Skardu airport to explore Skardu Valley.

Skardu, being significant tourism, trekking, and mountain expedition center brings in travel aficionados and adrenaline junkies from different parts of the world to experience the magnificent scenery and the mind-blowing adventures the city offers.


Skardu Airport – Important information


OperatorPakistan Civil Aviation Authority
Location 18 kilometers from the main Skardu city
IATA code  KDU


The Skardu Airport is located 18 kilometers from the main Skardu city. Since it is situated on steep terrain, passengers get a glimpse of the snow-covered mountain peaks both when landing and flying off.

The airport is open from dawn to sunset during the summer. However, because of excessive snowfall throughout the winter months, it is forced to shut down.

Skardu Airport Runway

Only one of the two asphalt runways at the airport complex is currently operational. This airport’s operational runway is approximately 12,000 feet long, making it the country’s longest.
The other Skardu Airport runway is 8,740 feet long.


This airport’s apron can house up to three Boeing 737 airplanes at any given time. The airport also has the latest firefighting vehicles. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) now operates two daily ATR42 flights between Skardu Airport and Islamabad International Airport.


The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority manages and operates this airport complex in Skardu.
Despite its smaller size, Skardu airport serves a high number of domestic and international tourists annually. Narrow-body aircraft operate flights through VFR rules at the Skardu airport.

Skardu airport receives two ATR42 flights per week from Islamabad. Every year, a large number of travelers and visitors who do not prefer to travel by road for longer hours come to Skardu at the Skardu airport to see the region’s natural beauty. You need to arrive at the airport two to three hours before the flight’s departure time.

Passengers are treated to a breathtaking vista of the great Indus River and the snow-capped mountains that surround the Skardu Airport. It is a Fire Cat 6 facility with the most up-to-date Oshkosh RFF vehicles.


The International Airport Transport Association,( IATA) assigns a unique code to each airport throughout the world in order to ensure smooth and secure airline operations.

Skardu Airport’s IATA code is KDU. The International Civil Aviation Organization also assigns a unique code to each airport. Skardu Airport’s ICAO code is OPSD.


The Skardu airport provides all of the amenities and services needed for a smooth journey. It features a large parking lot, and well-kept arrival and departure lounges. A separate VIP lounge is also present. Restrooms and food options are readily available.

For their visitors, most resorts in Skardu provide a shuttle service to and from the airport. Aside from that, you can always hire private cabs which are readily available at Skardu airport to get to your destination.

Travelers and adrenaline junkies who come to Skardu can visit the breathtaking Satpara and Kachura Lakes. Manthoka Waterfall is another famous tourist destination.


Manthoka Waterfall at Skardu


A lot of travelers go backpacking in the Deosai National Park. It is a great attraction for a lot of people visiting from abroad.

The remarkable and most picturesque Shangrilla resort is also one of the most famous attractions in the region. Skardu is known for its tranquil natural beauty, freshwater springs, tasty fruits, and nice climate.


The beautiful Shangrila Resort


It’s also worth noting that if you want to experience the breathtaking scenery during fall, October is the ideal month to visit Skardu.

If you are not all crazy about the fall season then you can visit this beautiful dreamland at any time from April to October.


Shangrila Resort, Pakistan during fall season


Skardu Aiport is critical to the region’s tourism development and economic growth since the northern areas of Pakistan, particularly Gilgit Baltistan, attract travelers from all over the world.

With the airport’s status elevated to an international airport, it will now undoubtedly attract more visitors, generating more revenue for the region and the country.

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