What differences might an airport runway and landing differences have on Mount Everest for airplanes at 30,000ft? The drawn line in the pictures is about 2 miles. This would be practical for hand gliding, skiing, base jumping, shortcut to the top, and other exotic fun.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. Please note that you are asking 3 different questions: how to build it, what differences would it have w.r.t. to a conventional one and the fuel saving. As stated in our help center, we answer 1 world building question per post. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Sep 27, 2020 at 5:34
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    $\begingroup$ Winds and icing alone would kill more planes (and crews and passengers) than they'd get off the ground safely. A nightmare location. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2020 at 6:04
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    $\begingroup$ Also lookup "Death Zone" on wikipedia. Theres no skiing or hang gliding up here. You need supplemental oxygen to survive outside. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Sep 27, 2020 at 6:08
  • $\begingroup$ To expand on L.Dutch's comment, if you can edit your question into a simplified version only asking one question, it can be reopened. $\endgroup$
    – IronEagle
    Sep 27, 2020 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ You really need to do a little background reading in practical aviation, and particularly the concept of density altitude. Basically, the thinner the air (which depends on both altitude & temperature), the faster you need to be going to fly, and the lower your rate of climb will be once you get off the ground. Every summer, a few sea level pilots learn that lesson the hard way when trying to take off from local fields that are at 6000 ft/2000 m or more. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Sep 27, 2020 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


Glider port.

perian glider


At 90,000 feet, the Perlan 2 must be engineered to fly in less than 3% of normal air density and at temperatures of -70°C. The mission will harvest invaluable data for scientists worldwide to help update and improve existing climate models.

30,000 feet is just an appetizer for this awesome glider. The gliders will start at low alititude being towed by planes, then coast upwards as gliders do. They are not fast moving craft and landing at altitude should poise no particular difficulty. Ideally the landing strip is over a cliff, so on returning the glider can just fall over the edge of clif and glide away.

  • $\begingroup$ Great answer!!! $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2020 at 19:24

You don't.

30,000 feet is above the service ceiling of most aircraft: helicopters tend to top out around 10,000-15,000 feet, piston-engine aircraft are usually limited to 25,000 or so, and even turboprops rarely venture that high. The only aircraft that could theoretically operate out of your airport are turbofan-powered jets.

So let's say you wanted to land a Boeing 737 at your high-altitude airport: how fast would it be going? Boeing doesn't publish performance charts for altitudes that high, but we can estimate based on known performance.

There's a useful measurement called "calibrated air speed": it's a measure of how much air is moving past the airplane, so it's independent of things like altitude and temperature. The target landing CAS of a 737 is roughly 150 knots, and we can use standard correction formulas to figure out what the true speed is at 30,000 feet and average temperatures. Turns out, in order to land in calm air, your 737 is going slightly over 240 knots across the ground -- a bit faster than the wheels are rated for.

  • $\begingroup$ Boeing says 8,400' for standard, 12,000' with a high altitude option for the 737. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2020 at 3:19

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