Fly to the World's HIGHEST Airport - Daocheng Yading

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Join me to fly to the World's Highest Airport - Daocheng Yading Airport in China. Daocheng (DCY) airport is in the Western part of China at 4,411m (14,472 ft). Daocheng is the highest commercial airport in the world.

Sichuan Airlines fly to Daocheng from Chengdu regularly on their A319. I was able to go to the cockpit to interview the captain about the difficulties of flying into this high altitude airports. The crew require to wear oxygen masks during flight critical times (takeoff/landing) at Daocheng. Currently 6 out of World's top 10 airports is in China.


Join me for a very exciting video detailing my journey from Chengdu Airport in China to the world’s highest civilian airport, Daocheng Yading airport, in the Daocheng County of Sichuan, China with Sichuan Airlines. As you’ll see throughout the video, I am so proud to have been able to make it to this flagship airport of the world and I am not left disappointed by the stunning views offered by this remote airport, which is a staggering 4,411 metres above sea level.

Daocheng Yading airport was approved for construction in April 2011 and cost $255 million to build. It was officially opened in September 2013 and made the journey between Chengdu and Daocheng much better, reducing it from a two day bus trip to a one hour aeroplane journey. The airport features a single runway 4,200 metres long and its terminal building spans over 5000 square meters, with capacity for handling 280,000 passengers a year.

After a traditional and filling Chinese breakfast at Chengdu, including such delicious delicacies as duck and rabbit, and receiving a little reassurance from a Tibetan man taking the same trip (I confess, I was a little nervous regarding the potential high altitude sickness) I board the aeroplane and I discuss with the captain the serious nature of the challenges which flying to such an extreme airport poses.

He tells me that the hazards posed by the airport are so serious that flights there are composed of two captains, rather than a captain and a first officer, and that only the most experienced pilots may make the journey, the airport being classified by Sichuan airlines as in the top tier of three for experience required. Although the approach to the airport is relatively straightforward, the low temperatures for much of the year (as cold as -30 degrees Celsius in winter) causes hazardous ice to appear on the runway, along with low freezing fog and thick cloud which seriously impairs visibility. Due to the altitude, both passengers and pilots have the option of breathing oxygen from bottles stored on the flight for the purpose.

My flight is quite sparsely populated, with only sixty people on board – even at this time of year, at this altitude, the temperature is still too low for most tourists, although things do get busier in high summer.

I am entertained by the soft, plush toys shown to me by the air stewardesses of the aeroplane and a number of pandas. Recently, Sichuan airlines have been doing a lot of panda related things. In September 2018, Sichuan airlines even launched a special “Panda Route,” which made use of an Airbus A350 covered in a cute panda livery and with air staff wearing panda themed uniforms and serving panda themed food. Look out for the air stewardess wearing a panda jumper in this video!

After arriving at Daocheng Yading airport, I watch the aeroplane depart and take the time to admire the beautiful airport terminal building. From the outside, it looks very modern, almost like a UFO or spaceship and everyone looks like they’re having a great time, posing for photos by a special rock which dedicates the airport and reminds people of its altitude.

It’s the best feeling to be this high up on the Earth and I am so grateful to the very kind Sichuan Airlines staff who made my journey there and back so comfortable and enjoyable. I hope you enjoyed the experience and please let me know your thoughts and comments beneath this video. Thank you very much for watching!
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