11 Most Dangerous Airports In The World

dangerous airports

Airports serve the vital role to get people and goods from one place to another place. All air travelers leave airports, which range in size from small facilities to enormous international terminals. Airline travel is one of the safest forms of public transportation but these dangerous airports still scare people. Because of the challenges of taking off and landing, these 11 airports are considered to be the most dangerous airports in the world.

1. Tenzing-Hillary Airport Or Lukla Airport – Nepal

dangerous aiports

Tenzing-Hillary Airport or Lukla Airport is one the most dangerous airport in the world. Part of what makes this airport so difficult is to land the short length runaway. Dangers at this airport include high winds, cloud cover and steep terrain. Sudden weather changes and the steep terrain makes landing impossible. It is a starting point of Everest Base Camp which is the best treks in Nepal.

2. Princess Juliana International airport – St. Marteen

People enjoying near princess juliana airport

Princess Juliana international airport is the main airport on the Caribbean island of saint martin. The planes approach the island flying extremely low right over Maho beach.  Pilots have to fly over a little part of the beach, cross over the fence and then pass over the road and then land on the runway. It is one of the few places that people can be in such close contact to a plane landing and taking off.

3. Gibraltar International Airport – Gibraltar

Airport intersects Winston Churchill Avenue
Wikimedia image by Andrew Griffith

Gibraltar International Airport is the civilian airport that serves the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. One of the scarier aspects of this airport is its busy street. The main street in the area is Winston Churchill Avenue which intersects the runway. So, when a plane lands or takes off, the road has to be closed.

4. Paro Airport – Bhutan

Paro Airport
Wikimedia image by User: (WT-shared) Shoestring at wts wikivoyage

Paro Airport is the only International Airport of Bhutan. It is one of the challenging airports to land at. Only a few pilots are certified to land. High altitude, surrounding mountains, short runaway and unpredictable weather conditions all combine to make one of the world’s most dangerous airports in the world. The airport is one of the world’s most challenging for take-offs and landings.

5. Courchevel Airport – France

dangerous airport
Wikimedia image by Hugues Mitton

The Courchevel Airport has the shortest runway at just 525 m long and a gradient of 18.6% in order to help safe landing aircraft. The runway lacks instrument approach procedures, thus touchdown in fog and low clouds is nearly impossible. With its complicated approach and an extremely short runaway that slopes upward which makes one of the dangerous airports.

6. Toncontin International Airport – Honduras

landing at toncontin airport
Wikimedia image By enrique galeano morales

Toncontin International Airport is located in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. It is one of the most challenging airports in the world. Mountains and short approaches are the hard parts to land. Planes must make a last-second 45-degree turn to line up with the runway.

7. McMurdo Station – Antarctica

Plane in Antarctica

The coldest spot on the planet. Not many people travel to Antarctica. The specific landing gear, timing, winds, and slipperiness of ice are what makes this runway so dangerous. McMurdo Station averages below freezing temperatures every month. The treacherous weather conditions combined with ice makes a challenging land for pilots.

8. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport – Saba Island

short runaway in saba island
Wikimedia image by Fyodor Borisov

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is an airport resides in Saba, a small island in the Dutch Caribbean. Located on a very dangerous ground and is surrounded by cliffs and ravines. The shortest runway has mountain slope on one side and the water on other ending with a cliff on either side. Any mistakes in taking off or landing can have a disastrous outcome. It is one the world’s most dangerous airport.

9. International Airport – Portugal

madeira airport
Wikimedia image by Mrsurrender

Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport is also known as Madeira Airport. One of the world’s most dangerous airport has been renamed in honor of one of its most famous football player. The airport short cliff side and a steep drop to the oceans were known for its variable winds. The strongest winds make the airplane go anywhere which makes the plane difficult to land. Recently though, the runway has been extended and is almost double. Aircraft accessing the airport need to take a clockwise approach to land on the runway.

10. Barra Airport – Scotland

plane in a sandy beach
Wikimedia image by calflier001

Barra Airport is located at Traigh Mhòr, a beach on the Scottish island of Barra. It is another short-runway airport. This is the only airport in the world that uses a sandy beach as a runway. The airport is literally washed away by the tide once a day. There are three runways, each marked by wooden poles at their ends. During high tides, the runaways are underwater. Therefore, the flight timings vary with the tides.

11. Gustaf III Airport – Saint Barthelemy

dangerous airports
Wikimedia image by James Rowson

Gustaf III Airport, also known as Saint Barthélemy Airport, located in St. Jean on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy. The extremely short runway starts at the top of a hill and ends directly at the beach. Incoming flights coming from the opposite direction have a steep descent due to the hilltop.

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