10 Most Dangerous Airports in the World

If you are traveling long distances, flying on an airplane is the best and easiest way to reach your destination. The only issue which arises is that flat long runway ain’t available in some places. This means that pilots have to be extremely skilled todo their landing on a runway that is probably out from a mountain or one that is situated in a narrow valley. We present to you the 10 of the most dangerous airports in the world to land on.

10. Lukla Airport in Nepal

lukla airport

[Image Source: Wikimedia]

The Lukla Airport in Nepal is the main airport for those who are visiting Mt. Everest. The main reason that makes this airport so difficult to land on is how it is situated between mountains and has an incredibly short length of the runway. In fact, the entire terminal is extremely small. There are hardly any lights and very little electric power, so landing anything other than perfect conditions becomes extremely riskier. There are absolutely no air traffic controllers on site, so pilots are completely on their own to touch down. It’s also one of the highest airports of the world.

9. Courchevel International Airport in France

This video of a landing at the Courchevel airport went viral previous year as it equipped with  the shortest runway in the world at 525 meters (1722 feet). Not only this, the shortest runway has a downward gradient of 18.5% which makes taking off the aircraft extremely difficult. And to add on the already difficult landing, the runway is constructed right into the Alps where pilots have to fly the plane between a narrow valley and prepare for descent. If aircraft are unable to gain enough speed by the end of the runway, they will simply fall off the edge of a cliff, hoping for the best.

8. Toncontin Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

As you may be noticing, airports in the mountains become extremely tough to land due to the unconventional terrain and mainly short approaches. Toncontin Airport is not different from others. In order to make planes to prepare for the descent, they have to make a quick 45-degree bank turn to reach the runway in a valley. After this bank, planes have to rapidly drop in altitude, being extremely cautious not to scrape the terrain directly underneath.

7. Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten

princess juliana airport

[Image Source: Wikimedia]

Just like some other runways in the Careebeen Sea, Princess Juliana Airport which is located in Saint Maarten is the most famous airport on the list, easy for people to see from the public beach situated just before the runway. This position often results in extremely loud gusts of wind and sand especially to those who are enjoying the crystal blue water. For the pilots, hitting visitors is the least of their worries. The runway is only 2,179 meters long, which is extremely short considering the fact that large aircraft that usually land here requires more than 2,500 meters to ensure a safe landing.

6. Paro Airport in Bhutan, Himalayan Mountains

Always ranked as one of the most dangerous airports in the world, only 8 pilots have got qualified to land at this airport. The runway is surrounded by 5,500-meter hills with a runway only 1981 meters long. Due to the fast descent that large planes need to make to land, many rank it as the most dangerous airport in the world.

5. Gibraltar International

gibralter airport

[Image Source: Wikimedia]

This is probably the last airport in South Europe. While this runway is not hard to land at, the weird design feature makes it exceptionally dangerous. The main street in the area, Winston Churchill Avenue, passes the runway and has to be closed down when a plane needs to land. There is a traffic light on the road telling cars to stop, but there have been a number of close calls in the airport’s history.

4. McMurdo Air Station, Antarctica

air base antartica[Image Source: Wikimedia]

Not a lot of people travel to Antartica, which means that the airport infrastructure there is majorly lacking. This runway isn’t short, but it is made of slick ice which can cause planes to run down if the landing isn’t perfect. Temperatures here are below freezing on average the entire year. In 1970 there was a bad crash of a C-121 that still there on the side buried in snow. Many months in the year it is dark continuously, and due to the lack of lights, pilots are trained to land using night vision goggles.

3. Madeira Airport, Portugal

madiera airport

[Image Source: Wikimedia]

Madeira Airport is one of the airports where engineers build a runway platform in order to expand the landing strip. The landing strip sits between cliffs and the shores of the ocean. Pilots just don’t have enough space to land.

2. MCAS Futenma, Okinawa

This airport is situated in a US Marine Corps Air Station in Okinawa, Japan. The Navy and the Marine Corps mark it as the most dangerous airport in the world where F/A-18 Hornets and V-22 Osprey continuously land. The area is important to the US military, which is part of the reason it maintains operation. Part of the reason this airport is so dangerous is that high-density housing sits right in an area that has to be cleared for emergency situations.

1. Narsarsuaq Airport, Greenland

airbase Greenland

[Image Source: Wikimedia]

Just like Antartica, the extreme airports in Greenland are always covered in ice. At only 1,800 meters and canvassed in slick ice, this runway is the most difficult airport in the world for any pilot. There is an active volcano nearby which also commonly erupts sending ash into the clouds which can stall and destroy engines. Time of landing is also one of the things one has to consider.


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