Swat Saidu Sharif Airport
Swat Saidu Sharif Airport is a domestic airport in Pakistan’s Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Airport is situated at an elevation of 984 meters above sea level and has a single runway that is 5,500 feet long. The Airport is named after Saidu Sharif, the administrative capital of Swat.
The Airport is served by Pakistan International Airlines and a few other airlines, offering flights to and from Islamabad, Peshawar, and Karachi. The Airport is crucial in facilitating tourism in the scenic Swat Valley, known for its natural beauty, rich history, and cultural heritage. The Airport also serves as a gateway for pilgrims visiting the nearby holy sites of the Buddha’s relics at Butkara and Shingardar Stupa.
It has a relatively short history, constructed in the 1970s. Before the Airport’s construction, the Swat Valley was accessible only by road, which made travel to the area time-consuming and arduous. The need for an airport in the region was recognized, especially given the growing importance of tourism.
Construction of the Airport began in 1977 and was completed in 1984. The Airport was initially used for military purposes and was later opened for commercial flights. The first commercial flight from Saidu Sharif Airport took off in 1988, and since then, the Airport has played a significant role in facilitating travel to and from Swat.
Recently, the Airport has undergone renovations and improvements to upgrade its facilities and services. In 2019, a new terminal building was inaugurated, which enhanced the Airport’s capacity to handle more passengers. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority currently operates the Airport, and its role in facilitating tourism and commerce in the Swat Valley continues to grow.
Overall, Swat Airport has played a crucial role in connecting Swat Valley with other parts of Pakistan and has contributed to the region’s economic growth and development.
This Airport is in Pakistan’s Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The Airport is about 9 kilometers northeast of the city of Saidu Sharif, the administrative capital of Swat.
Top Domestic Routes
Saidu Sharif Airport Swat operates domestic flights to several cities in Pakistan. Here are some of the top domestic routes based on passenger traffic:
· Swat to Islamabad: This is one of the most popular routes from Swat, with multiple daily flights offered by Pakistan International Airlines and other airlines. The flight time between the two cities is approximately 45 minutes.
· Swat to Peshawar: Flights from Swat to Peshawar are also in high demand, with several daily flights operated by Pakistan International Airlines and other airlines. The flight time between the two cities is around 45 minutes.
· Swat to Karachi: Swat Airport also offers flights to Karachi, one of the largest cities in Pakistan. The flight time between Swat and Karachi is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.
· Swat to Lahore: Lahore is another popular destination for travelers from Swat, and several airlines offer daily flights between the two cities. The flight time between Swat and Lahore is around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Overall, Swat Saidu Sharif Airport connects the Swat Valley with several major cities in Pakistan, making it easier for tourists and locals to travel.
Swat Airport offers a range of facilities and services for passengers. Here are some of the airport facilities.
· Terminal Building: The Airport has a recently constructed terminal building with modern facilities, including check-in counters, boarding gates, waiting areas, and retail shops.
· Car Parking: The Airport has a car park facility for passengers and visitors with free parking.
· Wheelchair Assistance: The Airport provides wheelchair assistance to passengers with special needs or disabilities.
· Flight Information Display: The Airport has flight information display screens throughout the terminal to update passengers on flight schedules and gate information.
· Duty-free Shops: The Airport has duty-free shops where passengers can purchase various items such as cosmetics, perfumes, tobacco, and alcohol.
· Food and Beverage: The Airport has a restaurant and a snack bar where passengers can purchase food and beverages.
· Prayer Area: The Airport has a prayer area for passengers to offer their prayers.
· Wi-Fi: The Airport provides free Wi-Fi connectivity to passengers.
The airport code (IATA) for Swat Saidu Sharif Airport is SDT.
Swat Saidu Sharif Airport is served by several domestic and international airlines. Here are some of the operating airlines.
Pakistan International Airlines: Pakistan’s national carrier, PIA, operates daily flights from Swat to Islamabad, Peshawar, and other cities in Pakistan.
SereneAir: SereneAir is a private airline in Pakistan that offers flights from Swat to Islamabad and Karachi.
AirSial: AirSial is a new private airline in Pakistan that operates flights from Swat to Lahore and Karachi.
Saudi Arabian Airlines: Saudi Arabian Airlines offers international flights from Swat Airport to Jeddah and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
Top Tourist Places in Swat
While discussing tourism in Pakistan, we can surely not ignore Swat as it is one of its most prominent and popular tourist destinations. It is also known as the Switzerland of Pakistan. The lush green valley’s soaring waterfalls and lakes with crystal clear water reflecting the snowcapped mountains make Swat a must-visit for anyone who wants to have a great experience close to nature. Swat is blessed with a significant number of incredible locations, including:
The Kalam Valley near Saidu Sharif Airport
The kalam valley perfectly combines lakes, waterfalls, meadows, forests, and soaring mountains.
The Marghuzar Valley is one of the historical places located at an elevation of 1300 m. It is famous for its beautiful White Palace, the Wali of Swat’s residence in the 1940s.
Madyan near Saidu Sharif Airport
Madyan is another prominent tourist location in the region. The serene valley offers numerous spots to enjoy the Swat River making its way through the valley.
If you are looking for a premium tourist resort in Pakistan, you will find it in Malam Jabba. It is located at a height of 2500 m in offers an excellent skiing track where the annual skiing championship is also arranged.
Kumrat Valley is famous for its pristine beauty and is one of the most challenging places to reach in the Swat region. However, all efforts made to get the valley are worth it.
Saidgai Lake near Saidu Sharif Airport
The Beautiful lake is about 50 km from the central city of Mingora. It is one of the largest lakes in the Swat region, at 3600 m above sea level. It isn’t easy to reach, but adventurous souls can easily find their way to the top.
Another must-visit place in the Swat region is the beautiful Shingrai waterfall. It is only 20km from Mingora and offers an unforgettable experience in the woods.
Hotels Near Saidu Sharif Airport
The Airport is near Saidu Sharif, a popular tourist destination in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. There are several hotels and accommodations available near the Airport. Here are some of the hotels near the Airport:
· Swat Serena Hotel
· Hotel Marghzar
· Rock City Resort
· Hotel De-Manchi
· Burj Al Swat Hotel
How to Reach Saidu Sharif Airport?
Here are some ways to reach the Airport:
By Car/Taxi: You can reach the Airport by taxi or driving. The Airport is about 9 kilometers from Saidu Sharif city center, and the drive takes around 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic.
By Public Transportation: Public buses and vans run from Saidu Sharif city center to the Airport. However, the frequency and reliability of these services may vary, so it is recommended to check with the local authorities or your hotel for more information.
Private Airport Shuttle: Some hotels and tour operators offer personal airport shuttle services for their guests. You can check with your hotel or travel agent to see if this option is available.
Interesting facts about Saidu Sharif Airport Swat:
Here are some interesting facts about this Airport:
· Swat Saidu Sharif Airport is at an altitude of 3,520 feet above sea level.
· The Airport was built in the 1970s, primarily to serve the tourism industry in the Swat Valley.
· The runway is 5,500 feet long and can accommodate small to medium-sized aircraft.
· In recent years, the Airport has seen an increase in passenger traffic due to the growing tourism industry in the Swat Valley.
· The Airport is named after Saidu Sharif, the Swat District’s capital.
· It is one of the few airports in Pakistan that offers direct international flights to Saudi Arabia.
· The Airport has basic facilities such as a terminal building, car parking, food and beverage outlets, and a prayer room.
· Swat Saidu Sharif Airport is surrounded by scenic mountains and natural beauty, making it a popular destination for adventure tourism.
It is an important transportation hub in the Swat Valley, and it plays a crucial role in connecting the region to the rest of Pakistan and the world.