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13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World


Traveling by airplane has always been considered more dangerous than other means of transport but there are a few airports in the world which take this flight phobia a notch higher. From landing on tiny runways nested on top of cliffs to the once hidden in a valley, these airports are definitely not for the weak hearted. It is a tough task for the pilots to operate an aircraft in such extreme conditions and many of these airports allow only a few specially trained pilots to land on the runways. Here is a list of thirteen deadliest airports in the world which will surely leave you with your heart in your mouth.

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-1

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1. McMurdo Air Station in Antarctica

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-2 One of the very few airports in Antarctica, McMurdo air station is the perfect example of a winter wonderland. This airport is surrounded by snow all year long and the view from this airport is absolutely stunning. The runway is made of slick ice which makes the landing risky and the plane is prone to skidding in extreme conditions. Because it is dark in Antarctica for various months, the pilots are usually trained to land using night vision goggles. A visit to this airport will surely set butterflies in your stomach and make you a little nervous during landings and takeoffs.

2. Madeira Airport in Portugal

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-3 Madeira airport is located in the beautiful country of Portugal and the flight landing on this airport is sure to be an exhilarating experience. It is one of the few airports in the world in which engineers build a runway platform in order to expand the airport. The only option was to build a platform on an artificial island where the landing strip is placed between high standing cliffs and the shores of the ocean. The location of the landing strip makes it difficult for the pilots and the experience of a lifetime for the passengers.

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3. Narsarsuaq Airport in Greenland

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-4 At 1,800 meters and covered in slick ice, the runways on the Narsarsuaq airport, in the cold country of Greenland, is one the most daunting runways for the pilots as well as the passengers. The weather on the premises is always stormy and creates a lot of turbulence. The visibility is low because of the high wind speed and can easily direct the airplanes off track. To top it all, there is also a volcano nearby which erupts occasionally and fills the air with ashes making the conditions more and more difficult for the landing.

4. Lukla Airport in Nepal

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-5 One of the highest airports in the world, the Lukla airport is famous for being the primary airport for those visiting the Mt. Everest. The terminal of this airport is small and so are the runways nested on mountain tops. The airport premises has no traffic controllers which in-turn leaves the pilots on their own capabilities and knowledge. To top that, there are barely any lights and electricity making it more difficult to land on such a short runway. Nevertheless, the landing on this airport is an extremely exciting experience and the view of the Himalayas are absolutely mesmerizing.

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5. Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-6 Located in Saint Maarten, Princess Juliana International Airport is one of the most famous airports in the world. Just like some of the other Caribbean airports, this airport has a public beach right before it's runway providing the people on the shore with a loud gust of wind, once in a while. The airport was originally intended for smaller aircraft because of which the runways are short making it even more difficult to land a normal passenger aircraft at this airport.

6. Courchevel International Airport in France

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-7 Known for having the shortest runway any airport has ever seen, the Courchevel international airport is located in the ski resort town of Courchevel in the French Alps. the runway is 525 meters long and has a slope with a downward gradient of 18.5%. The upward-sloping of the runway and ski runs in the adjacent area make it very difficult for taking off as well as landing. On top of that, there is no go-around procedure for landing if the pilot misses the runway in the first go. There are also no light aids and instruments provided by the airport which makes a landing in bad weather almost impossible.

7. Wellington International Airport in New Zealand

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-8 Featuring a runway which appears to start and end in the waters, wellington international airport is located in the Rongotai region of Wellington. This airport is famous for its rough and turbulent landings because of the strong and gusty winds originating from the cook strait, especially in prefrontal northwesterly conditions. The surrounding mountainous areas also make it very difficult for pilots to initiate landing and takeoffs.

8. Paro Airport in Bhutan

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-9 There are only 17 qualified pilots in the world who can maneuver a takeoff or a landing at the Paro airport of Bhutan. This airport is located in a deep valley on the bank of the river Paro Chhu and is nestled between several 18,000-foot tall mountain peaks. With a runway of about 6,500-foot which is not visible to the pilot until the last minute of the landing, this is one the most dramatic and jaw gripping landing one would ever see. The flights are only allowed to land and take off during visual meteorological conditions only and are restricted to daylight hours as landing in dark is nearly impossible.

9. Svalbard Airport in Norway

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-10 Svalbard airport is built on permafrost and is the northernmost airport in the world with scheduled public flights. The runways are built directly on ice and have two culverts that allow water from the mountain Platåberget to drain under it. Runway lights are lacking on this airport which is the reason why no flight landings and takeoffs are allowed in the evenings and winters when the sun does not rise at all.

10. Telluride Regional Airport in Colorado

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-11 With an elevation of 9,070 feet, Telluride regional airport is the highest commercial airport in North America. There is only one runway on this airport which is on a plateau and dips slightly in the center. The airport is surrounded with 1000 feet tall cliffs which create difficulties for the pilots. Due to the mountain winds, there is also a lot of turbulence which is experienced during the winter months. Over 20% of the fights are deviated to different airports in the winter months due to the adverse landing conditions on this airport. The airport's location on a plateau and the high terrains surrounding the airport premises make it an exciting experience for the passengers.

11. Gisborne Airport in New Zealand

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-12 This airport is one of the only airports in the world, where a railway route intersects with an aircraft runway. Gisborne airport has three grass runways and one main runway and is located in the outskirts of the Gisborne town. It is difficult for the pilots as the national railway tracks intersect with the runway and the timing of the takeoff and landing has to be coordinated with the timings of the surpassing trains.

12. Toncontin Airport in Honduras

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-13 Surrounded by mountains on all sides, landing at Toncontin is a pilot's nightmare and is ranked as one of the most extreme airports in the world. The runways are narrow and to make a safe landing, the pilot has to take a very sharp turn to land near the valley. Runway 2 is highly famous for being one the most difficult runways to approach and the extensively close mountain terrains add to this problem. It because comparatively less risky after the airport authorities bulldozed a large portion of the hillside, immediately before the threshold of the runway.

13. Saba Airport in Dutch Caribbean

13 Most Dangerous Airports In The World-14 Encompassing one of the world's shortest runways, Saba airport is situated on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba. The length of the runway is just 400m and on clear days, the Landing can take place from any side of the runway. While landing, passengers can spot the cove bay on the left and look at the Caribbean sea on the right. The plane swings one eighty degrees in order to take off making the lift off an exhilarating experience.

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