Tribhuvan International Airport (Nepali: त्रिभुवन अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल, IATA: KTM, ICAO: VNKT) is an international airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. The airport is about six kilometres from the city centre, in the Kathmandu Valley. It is the sole international airport in Nepal and has served as an airfield since 1949. The airport was inaugurated in 1955 by King Mahendra and received its current name in 1964. Originally a grass runway, it was re-laid in concrete in 1957 and has been extended several times. The first jet aircraft landed at Tribhuvan in 1967 and regular jet operations commenced in 1972.
The airport has one domestic and one international terminal. At present, about 30 international airlines connect Nepal to destinations in Asia and the Middle East, and the airport serves as a hub for several Nepalese airlines. In 2001, Royal Nepal Airlines discontinued their flights to Frankfurt and London, which severed Nepal's direct air links with Europe. Recently, Turkish Airlines launched direct flights from Istanbul to Kathmandu, re-establishing Nepal's connection with continental Europe.
The airport was originally named Gauchaur Airport, after the area of Kathmandu where it was situated. The formal beginning of aviation in Nepal occurred in 1949, with the landing of a Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft, carrying the Indian ambassador. The first charter flight took place between Gauchaur and Calcutta, in a Himalayan Aviation Dakota on 20 February 1950.
In 1955 the airport was inaugurated by King Mahendra and renamed Tribhuvan Airport in memory of the king's father. The airport was again renamed Tribhuvan International Airport in 1964. The original grass runway was re-laid in concrete in 1957 and extended from 3,750 feet (1,140 m), to 6,600 feet (2,000 m) in 1967. The runway was again extended from 6,600 feet (2,000 m) to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in 1975.
The airport has two public terminals; one for international and one for domestic traffic. It also has a terminal for VIP guests. Radisson Hotel Kathmandu operates an executive lounge for first and business class passengers for some airlines and Thai Airways International operates a business lounge for its business-class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold card holders.
The airport is connected to the cities of Kathmandu and Lalitpur (Patan) through the busses of Sajha Yatayat, which stop in front of the international terminal. Local busses are available outside of the airport gate. There are local as well as pre-paid taxis available at both terminals.