In 2019, annual passenger throughput of Mainling Airport broke 500,000 for the first time, which means the airport entering a new development phase.
The construction of Mainling Airport started on June 30, 2003 and finished on September 1, 2006. It is the third airport in Tibet, after Gongga Airport (Lhasa) and Bamda Airport (Qamdo) have been put into use. With an altitude of 2,949 meters, Mainling Airport now has 13 class-C aircraft parking bays. Because of the complicated geographic conditions, the airport began to use RNP navigation technique and did the test flight with RNP-AR program on July 12, 2006, which was also the first one using this technique in Asia. The using of RNP navigation technique greatly improved on-time flight rate and enhanced its popularity.
Now, in Mainling Airport, there are four airline companies operating nine air routes linking Nyingchi with seven cities of other provinces of China: Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Shenzhen, Lanzhou and Xichang. In 2019, the airport handled 6,823 flight landings and take-offs. The passenger throughput and mail traffic volume are expected to reach 554,500 trips and 2,450 tons, realizing a year-on-year increase of 14.45% and 9% respectively.