In the present study, nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) along with various surfactants loaded with paclitaxel (PTX) were prepared by an emulsification technique using a Box-Behnken design. The Box-Behnken design indicated that the most effective factors on the size and PDI were at high surfactant concentration (1.5%), low lipids ratio (6:4) and medium homogenization speed (6000 rpm). Among all the formulations, Tween 20-loaded NLCs show least particle size compared to Tween 80 and Tween 60. Entrapment efficiency of Tween 20, Tween 80 and Tween 60-loaded formulations were 82.40, 85.60 and 79.78%, respectively. Drug release of Tween 80, Tween 20 and Tween 60-loaded NLCs is 64.9, 62.3 and 59.7%, respectively (within 72 h). Maximum cellular uptake was observed with Tween 20 formulation on Caco-2 cell lines. Furthermore, spray drying of resultant NLCs was showed good flow properties and was selected for drug delivery to deeper airways. In-vivo studies demonstrated the better localization of drug within the lungs using different surfactant-based pulmonary delivery systems. From this study, we have concluded that delivering drugs through pulmonary route is advantageous for local action in lungs as maximum amount of drug concentration was observed in lungs. The surfactants could prove to be beneficial in treating drug resistance lung cancer by inhibiting P-gp efflux in the form of nano lipidic carriers.