Aviation History

Aircraft have been operating in Bhutan since 1968. It was not until 1983 that Bhutan’s national airline, Druk Air, established a unit to look after civil aviation matters.

In order to comply with international requirements to have an independent aviation safety authority, the Department of Civil Aviation was established in January 1986. As a newly established agency, the department sought assistance from the International Civil Aviation Organization and the United Nations Development Programme. These agencies provided assistance with staff training and organizational capacity building. Over time, the DCA’s function has expanded; it is now responsible for the development and management of airports, the delivery of airport services and the provision of air navigation services

Chronology of Civil Aviation History:


1968-Paro airstrip operational
1981-National airline Druk Air established by Royal Decree
1983-Commercial air transport commenced with two 18-seater Dornier
1986-DCA formerly established
1988-Bhutan: party to Hague Convention
1988-Bhutan: party to Montreal Convention
1989-Bhutan party to Tokyo Convention
1989-Bhutan became a ICAO member State
1990-The Civil Aviation Act, 1990 passed
1992-The Bhutan Air Navigation Regulations (BANR) promulgated – based on ICAO requirements.
1993-Becomes Druk Air Corporation Ltd.
2000-The Civil aviation Act amended
2002-BANR amended (supplement in 1994)
2010-BANR revised
17th Dec 2011–Domestic air service to Bumthang & Yongphula launched
2011-Tashi Air launched (Domestic)
2012-Tashi Air suspended (May)
Sept 2012-Gelephu Runway inaugurated
2013-Tashi Air to commence international-Oct 2013 (Ministry’s approval)
2013-Draft Act for Regulation of Civil Aviation underway (ADB