Before we take note on the reasons why don’t planes fly over Tibet, let us focus on some interesting facts about Tibet.
Tibet is an autonomous region of China. It is in the south-western part of China, and it shares the border with India, with Nepal in the west, Burma in the south-west, and Bhutan in the south-east.
Refer the image below for map view.
The Tibetan Plateau is the highest in the world, and it is the home of the great Himalayas. Mount Everest (8850 m), Kanchenjunga (8586 m), Mount Kailash (6638 m), Makalu (8481 m), Cho Ou (8201 m) are high in Tibetan land. The average height of this mountain range is 8000 meters.
This information will help you understand why the aircraft do not choose to fly on Tibet.
Why don’t planes fly over Tibet?
With a series of world’s highest mountains, the highest elevation in 8850 meters (29035 feet) – it becomes a huge halt for planes. The maximum height allowed for commercial aircraft is 28- 35,000 feet (8,000 meters).
This is the reason that the planes do not fly above Tibet.
We all know that there are four layers of the atmosphere and the closest one to the Earth (troposphere) which continues up to 7 miles above the ground level. Himalaya is at an altitude of 5.5 mile. They are at a point in the atmosphere where one layer meets the other.
Most of the aircraft fly in the upper boundary of the troposphere and flying in the lower layer of the stratosphere is advised only when you have enough supply of oxygen.
As the height of the atmosphere increases, along the way, the air becomes thin. This means that as we go up the amount of oxygen in the air decreases. And with the increase in height, air pressure decreases. As a result, wind turbulence occurs.
Most planes have the capacity to fly more than 20,000 feet. But in most airliners, the passenger only has 20 minutes of oxygen and according to the aviation rules, before the end of the passenger’s oxygen, a flight should reach 10,000 feet. With the extensive expansion of mountain ranges at 28,000-30,000 feet in Tibet, it is difficult for the pilots to bring the aircraft down to a height of 10,000 feet. Another important thing is that if there is an aircraft in this area, then if there is an emergency, there is no nearby airport in this area where the aircraft can be landed.
It is not a secret why airplanes do not fly above Tibet, but it is a scientific reason that makes it impossible to fly over Tibet.
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