Everyone has had an unpleasant landing experience. However, when you learn about the safety conditions at these airports, it will make you reconsider whether to classify your incident in terms of “scary” or “unsafe”. The airports listed here spread around the globe are not suitable for the faint-hearted. Would you dare travel to one of these airports?
Lukla Airport, Nepal
The airport is the main point of entry for visitors who want to go to Mt. Everest. If you think climbing Mt. Everest is difficult, then flying to the airport near Mt. Everest could not be any more straightforward. The runway at the airport is among the most compact in the world and is in the middle of mountains. The problem is that there is no electricity at the airport which makes it difficult, sometimes impossible for pilots to communicate with air controllers. There are occasions when planes have landed without any assistance. Three airlines are willing to fly to and from the airport.
If you believed that this was the most shabby airport in the world then you’re wrong…
Courchevel International Airport, France
The airport is a collection of factors that make a successful take-off or landing almost unreal. The problems begin even before arriving at the airport since pilots have to navigate an incredibly narrow valley within the Alps in preparation for the descent. The runway is among the shortest runways in the world and is measured at just 1700 feet (525 meters). With its downslope at 18,6 (! ) percent, taking off is much more difficult than the majority of landings! And if the pilot is unable to make it work… it’s a disaster. The airport falls into a cliff, which means there’s no room to make failure-prone maneuvers. While the airport can be accessible by helicopters fairly easily, however, we wouldn’t recommend flying to this airport! The majority of the airlines are in agreement with us. One airline is insane enough to travel to the airport!
Toncontin Airport, Honduras
The airport, which serves Honduras’ capital city, Honduras is located in a valley on the top of a mountain at 3294 feet (1004 meters) above sea level. Like any other mountain airport, this one isn’t an easy spot to take off or land from. Pilots have to make an abrupt 45-degree turn in the mountains and ensure that the plane’s bottom isn’t scrubbing the land below. Passengers can experience a rapid descent in altitude after landing, which could cause ears to pop. All of these factors aren’t going to make the conclusion and beginning of your flight a safe experience…
The airport that is next to it is an extremely unique one that is getting riskier due to humans…
Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten
The airport is most likely well-known for having a beach that is located at the bottom of its runway. This produces large and loud rumbles of wind and sand to those who are at the beach. However, the main issue with the airport isn’t what you might believe. It’s not the beaches that make it difficult to take off or land from, but the length of its runway. With just 7150 feet (2,179 meters) the runway doesn’t have much space to play in. Although this may not be excessively short, however, it is still an enormous challenge for the majority of aircraft to land on, given that the majority of aircraft require at least 2,500 meters. This runway is ideal for small aircraft to land on, as they don’t always require runways of 2,500 meters but for larger airplanes, this runway could be an enormous obstacle.
Paro Airport in Bhutan, Himalayan Mountains
This airport is so hazardous that only a few pilots are certified to fly here. It is surrounded by 18,000-foot (5,500 meters) mountains, Paro Airport’s Paro Airport runway is only 6500 feet (1981 meters) in length and is hidden from pilots until the final minute. From then on, they must take off at a 45-degree incline before landing quickly on the runway. Due to the harsh conditions landings are only permitted during daylight hours and under exceptional meteorological conditions. The airport was one of the few airports Bhutan had and there was no other option to fly into or out of Bhutan until 2011.
The next step is an underwater airport?!
Barra International Airport, Scotland
The island is located on Barra located in Scotland The runway is just five meters above sea level, which means that when the tide is rising, the runways are all underwater. Thus, flights can only be landed at specific time frames. The airport is the only one operating in this way. In addition, only one airline operates from this airport which is reasonable considering that there is so limited time for flights to land because the runway is often submerged.
Madeira International Airport Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Although Madeira is a hugely well-known tourist destination, its airport on the Portuguese island is a hazard. The runway was nearly increased in 2000, from 9124 feet (2780 meters) however, this extension was constructed on a foundation supported by 180 columns that are positioned upon the water. Furthermore, the weather conditions are challenging with frequent high winds, making landing here an endeavor that can only be accomplished by pilots who have been specially trained. Despite the risk of the runway, many are still able to book flights to the airport as they are all eager to visit Madeira.
Narsarsuaq Airport, Greenland
The runway at airports is often covered with ice, making any landing extremely slippery. If you think this is a risky enough situation the powerful storms and strong winds make the task even more challenging. Near the airport, there is also active volcanic activity. When the volcano erupts, its ashes fly toward the aircraft. The risk of crashing a plane is a likely possibility. However, if you’re a non-native of Greenland and want to travel towards the Southern region, you’ll have to fly to the airport, as it’s one of the few international airports within the Southern region of Greenland.
Gibraltar International, Gibraltar
Although this airport isn’t difficult to reach, however, it does have a distinctive feature that makes it a standout. The main street of the city is situated across the runway and traffic on the road has to stop whenever the plane takes off. Even though there’s an emergency stoplight at the intersection several disasters are in the process of happening in the past. Additionally, the 5,550-foot (1676 meters) runway is flooded at both ends, so if an attempt to land or take off is not perfect, the results could be catastrophic! Another issue that can occur in the event of flying to or from the airport could be the forceful winds that can make landings or take-offs becoming more difficult.
And lastly is the airport in the coldest climate on Earth. Visit it!
McMurdo Air Station, Antarctica
The U.S. Antarctic station makes it onto this list mostly due to the climate they operate in. The runway of the airport is wide enough, yet it is covered with ice. This could cause planes to drift when landing is not flawless. The temperature is always lower than zero and throughout many seasons, there isn’t any illumination. Pilots who would like to fly to the airport are trained to take off using night vision glasses.