Wattay International Airport (IATA: VTE, ICAO: VLVT), the principle airport of Laos, is located 3 km from the centre of its capital, Vientiane. The airport consists of an old and small domestic terminal and a new international terminal. There is a military (air force) installation at one end of the airport.
The head office of the Department of Civil Aviation and head office of Lao Air are on the airport property. Amenities at the terminals include 280 seats in departure lounge, two passenger boarding bridges, offices for airlines and travel agencies, forex bureaus and banks, ordinary and duty-free shops, a post office, ATMs, restaurants, information desks, an internet café, bars and currency exchange counters. The immigration and customs areas are connected to the aircraft through jet bridges. Passenger lounges are also available in the terminals.
The airport has various ground transportation options available. Both public and private Vientiane airport bus transfer services are available, while official airport taxi services are available outside the arrivals hall. Car rental services are provided by Asia and BP.
A car park is located in front of the terminals and offers both covered and uncovered parking spaces.
Wattay International has an air traffic control tower with a total floor space of 1,780m².
Airport Location and Contact
Province or District
Nearest Town or City
Airport’s Complete Name
Wattay International Airport
Elevation (ft and m)
Managing Company or Airport Authority
Department of Civil Aviation
Management Contact Person
Open From (hours)
Open To (hours)
Laos has recorded steady growth in air passenger traffic over the recent years. In 2010, the national carrier Lao Airlines recorded about 500,000 passengers. This increased to 815,000 passengers in 2012. Passenger traffic has been boosted by the growing tourism industry, which recorded arrivals of 3.3 million tourists, an increase of 22% from the previous year.
Vientiane/Wattay International Airport accounts for 60-65% of the total passenger movements in the country. The number of passengers has increased steadily from about 400,000 in 2005 to 685,000 in 2011, and 815,000 in 2012.
The international passenger terminal building was planned under the assumption of 250,000 passengers per annum in 2005 – with the number of passengers at the peak hour number estimated to be about 410 people each, for the departure and arrival.
Annual Number of Passengers – Vientiane International Airport
Source: JICA Study
Annual Number of Aircraft Movements – Vientiane International Airport
Source: JICA Study
Air Freight Cargo
Land transport remains the main means of transport for cargo imports and exports in Lao PDR - the ratio of air transport is very small. Items exported by air are mainly documents including airmail and textile, and import items are typically small-sized electronic parts and small computers which are loaded in the small jet aircraft such as B737, A320 and A321 operated by TG, AK and VN. There is no exclusive cargo aircraft.
Annual Airfreight Traffic – Vientiane International Airport
Air cargos of both international and domestic flights are handled in the small building located at the west side of the international passenger terminal building. The facility is small (about 50 mT capacity) and old. The new cargo terminal building was completed in May 2011 but remained unused pending contractual agreement between L-JATS and the users (Lao Airlines and Lao Central Airways). The capacity limit of the existing terminal building was calculated at 1,800 tons/year.
1,872 MT (2005), 2,640 MT (2012)
Airline Storage Floor Area (sq. m):
Basic Unit (ton/sq. m):
Current monthly use by Humanitarian flights (UNHAS)
JET A-1 fuel
Single point refueling
Starter units (press air)
Ground power (mobile)
Pax transport to airfield
Aircraft support services
Base Operating room
Fire fighting category (ICAO)
Fire fighting equipment
Parking ramp lighting
Nearby Navigation Aids
315° / 3.1
025° / 9.8
162° / 37.8
237° / 57.8
The runway is capable for the taking off and landing of large jets such as Boeing 747-400 corresponding to Code E with 3,000 m length and 45 m width. The approach route and departure route adopted the priority runway method to avoid flying onto the east side of the runway, especially for Thailand and the urban area of Vientiane. Based on the information from the controller, the ratio of landing and taking off of RW31 is 90% to around 95%.
The pavement of the runway was overlaid by asphalt on concrete pavement. The overlay pavement works were carried out through the assistance of Thailand in 2006. The runway turn pad of large jet such as RW13 has been put in place through a loan from the Chinese government in 2012.
RUNWAY (Runway 13/31)
Published length (meters)
Usable length (meters)
Asphalt on concrete pavement
One permanant Helicopter spot at Wattay with room for others when required.
Present (Yes / No)
Largest helicopter that can land
Width and Length (metres)
1 spot on apron allocated for helicopter (dimensions not available)
Airport Operating Details
Apron capacity: at present 21 spots are in service - two for large jets, five for medium jets, seven for small jets, six turboprops, and one spot for helicopter.
AIRPORT OPERATING DETAILS
Max size cargo aircraft that bulk cargo can be offloaded
Max size palletised cargo aircraft that can be offloaded
Total parking size (m²)
See section below
Cargo handling equipment
Costs - Airfield Charges
LANDING FEE CHARGES (USD)
Aircraft Weight – MTOW (MT)
0 - 20
First hour is free of charge. Each period of 24 hours or
fraction thereof which exceeds the first hour is charged 10% of the landing charges.
Day hours charges plus $50
21 - 40
$60 plus $3.5/ton
$130 plus $4/ton
$370 plus $5/ton
Day hours charges plus 10% of day hour charges
Special VIP aircraft
Test flight aircraft flying within radius of <20 Km
Every domestic flight landing at Vientiane/Wattay International Airport, LuangPrabang, Savannakhet, and Pakse airports is charged 50% of the full rates mentioned above.
30% of the full rates mentioned above.
1000 KIP per passenger for domestic destination
$10 per passenger for foreign destination
Exemption: state delegation, state guests, children below 2 years of age, transit passengers who do not leave airport
Radio Facility Charges
Piston Engine Aircraft: $160
Turbo Engine Aircraft: $240
Jet Engine Aircraft: $320
Charges for Luangprabang, Savannakhet and Pakse airports: 20% of the above rates
Exemption: Special VIP aircraft
Helicopter flying on domestic routes
En-route Navigation charges
B465 or R474/$160
A1 or B460/$250
Exemption: Special VIP aircraft & Ambulance aircraft
The fuel market is regulated by the government. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) takes decisions on fuel prices based on the fluctuation of world oil price. LSFC is delegated by MOIC to adjust (increase or decrease) oil price in form of writing and disseminate it to all oil companied throughout the country.
The latest fuel prices can be obtained from http://www.laostatefuel.com/en/gas-price.html
Laos is generally a peaceful country. Although there is no threat from international terrorism, airport security is strong. There is a police presence and the airport authorities have also engaged a private security company. The airport enforces and maintains strict international security checking standards.
The fuel supply station is located in the DCA control area in the airport. The Lao State Fuel Company (LSFC) has fuel supply tanks and handles refueling of the aircrafts. The fuel supply method is through the use of three fuel trucks and refueling at the apron. LSFC currently has three fuel storage tanks with a total capacity of 300 kl.
Ground Handling Companies
Lao-Japan Airport Terminal Services Co., Ltd (“L-JATS”), is the Joint Venture Company with Lao Government and Japanese Company. L-JATS is the only authorized company to operate Ground Handling Service for international flight at Vientiane International Airport. It is the operator of Vientiane International Passenger Terminal including parking area in front of terminal and responsible for advertisement inside and outside of the terminal at Wattay International Airport.
For information on Laos Airport contact details, please see the following link:
For information on Laos Airport additional details, please see the following document:
Information on some aviation service providers can be found at: AZ Freight information on Laos