Nagqu Airport: Higher Than Any Peak in the Lower 48!

CTD-GM-1000: A drokpa, or Tibetan nomad, woman with her baby tied to her back outside of Ditrul Phuk Gompa on the kora, or circumabulation, of Mount Kailash, Tibet.hina recently announced plans to finish construction on Nagqu Dagring Airport. At  4,436 meters, or 14,553 feet, Nagqu Dagring with take over the title of the world's highest airport, and its runways will be higher than anything in the continental USA. Wow.

As with all the recent development and infrastructure improvements in Tibet, however, this will certainly be a mixed blessing. Like the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, completed in 2006, the Nagqu airport will certainly bring more commerce, trade, and development to the largely impoverished Tibetan Plateau. But, it will also bring an added influx of ethnic Han Chinese immigrants, diluting the culture of Tibet and further cementing Beijing's grip on the region.

It's always a mixed feeling for me when I see this development in Tibet. On the one hand, I am excited to see the lives of everyday Tibetans potentially bettered by such improvements. But, having actually seen and traveled in much of Tibet, I also know that little of the development manages to trickle down to the local population.

What are your thoughts…Are these improvements good, bad, or indifferent for Tibet and Tibetans? 

Jake Norton is an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker from Colorado.
  1. Mount Everest
    Mount EverestJanuary 14,10

    I dont know if this is a good thing or not. It shows that Tibet is moving forward and joining the modren world but for me, although I have never been there, I see Tibet as an old traditional place with a slower pace of life than the rest of the world.

    Mount Everest The British Story

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