8.415 ft / 2.565 m
| Bamyan, Afghanistan|
| Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)
Bamyan, Bamyan Province
Bamyan Airport (IATA: BIN, ICAO: OABN) is an airport serving the city of Bamyan in Afghanistan.
Bamyan Airport Wikipedia
It is sited alongside a large military base which, until April 2013, was known as Forward Operating Base Kiwibase and was home to coalition troops including USA, New Zealand, and Malaysia, as well as a detachment of police from Europe (EUPOL) and various aid agencies, and was the base of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) run by New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The airport is used by small fixed-wing aircraft, larger aircraft capable of short take off and landing (including C130 Hercules), and rotary-wing aircraft. A number of civilian airlines, including Embassy Air, land at Bamyan as well as various aid agencies and military forces. Coalition rotary aircraft usually land within the confines of the adjacent Kiwibase, which has a fuel farm capable of refuelling aircraft.
Bamyan is a very challenging airport to land and take off from. The airport consists of a long dirt-and-gravel airstrip, on which aircraft have been known to suffer punctures. Aircraft usually land from the east regardless of wind conditions due to the high cliffs off the north-western corner. It is at an altitude of approximately 2591 m above sea level, meaning the air is much thinner and the weather more extreme than at sea level.
It is frequently closed by snow in the winter and can reach temperatures as low as −20 °C in the winter and 40 °C in the summer. It has no terminal buildings. It is approximately 2595 m long and 23 m wide and fenced by chain link fences approximately 2.5 m high. Along the length of this fence are several gates which remain open when the runway is not in use, and local residents cross the runway freely as a main thoroughfare from the southern part of Bamyan City to the main Bazaar. The gates are secured by NZPRT soldiers using padlocks when aircraft are due to land. The soldiers are then required to maintain a security patrol to prevent the fence being breached by inconvenienced locals who may try to cross in the path of aircraft, and more serious breaches to the security of the aircraft.
The runway has a slight bend in it approximately halfway down which adds to the challenges faced by pilots during take off and landing. The bend also means that a section of the chain link fence is incomplete on the southern side of the airfield to enable an aircraft wing to pass over a steep drop off into a gully to the south. This section is loosely and ineffectively strung with Razor Wire. Local residents frequently use this weak point to cross the runway when it is closed, only to be stuck on the northern side where the fence is mostly complete.
Chinese interests are currently investigating the development potential of Bamyan Airport to further exploit their interest in the coal mines in Northern Bamyan.