If you travel a lot, you should also know about the most dangerous airports in the world. If any of these become part of your next trip, you should know in advance about your adventure. Many people already feature traveling by flight, but these dangerous airports can give you flying phobia. The reason for being dangerous is the geographical location and the tiny runway. Very few pilots are expert enough to handle flights going to or coming from these airports. For example, only 17 pilots are trained for Paro Airport, Bhutan. I really appreciate these talented pilots who make these successful landings every day.
The most interesting fact you should know is that is over 500 emergency landings and 20 plane crashes worldwide happened in 2018 but none of them were at any of the most dangerous airports. It shows that pilots are really careful and you shouldn’t worry much and can go to feel adventure.
Now here is the list of the most dangerous airports in the world.
Most Dangerous Airports in the world
1. Lukla Airport: Nepal
Lukla Airport, Nepal is located near the Mt. Everest. Its geographical location makes it the most dangerous airport in the world. It has a very short runway and sometimes there is no electric power at the airport. So, pilots need to be in constant communication with air controllers for the safe landing. The runway is only 1,600 feet long with serious slopes and angles. It has a mountain wall at one end and the second end has 2,000-foot plunge into the valley.
2. Toncontin Airport: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
This is another dangerous airport in the world. It is in a valley located 3,294 feet above the sea level. For landing here, the pilots must make a sharp 45-degree turn amidst mountains and then quickly descent while making sure the underside of the airplane doesn’t scrape the terrain below. This place also faces Heavy winds that also makes the work of pilot tough. The pilot will also have to steer clear of the high peaks.
3. Courchevel International Airport: France
It has just 1,722 feet of runway length and has a downward gradient of 18.5%. This slope makes it difficult. It is also hard to reach as the pilot needs to fly through deep valleys.
4. Paro Airport: Bhutan, Himalayan Mountains
I have already mentioned that only 17 qualified pilots were authorized to land on the runway. The airport is surrounded by severe 18,000-foot mountain peaks. It has a 6,500-foot runway that only allows for arrivals and departures during the daytime. The runway is completely out of site for the pilot until last minute. There is also a point where the bottom of the plane comes perilously close to the mountaintop.
5. Princess Juliana International Airport: St Maarten
Princess Juliana airport has 7,150 feet long runway and was built for smaller aircraft. With the increasing tourism on the country, it started seeing big planes such as A340s and the 747s that need 8,000 to 10,000 feet runway for proper takeoff and landing. The planes must approach over the water at an extremely low altitude to reach here.
6. Barra Airport: Scotland
Barra Airport is located on the beach in the shallow bay of Traigh Mhòr. The rising winds and severe weather conditions are primary issues here. The runway is only five feet above sea level and all three runways are completely submerged during high tide.
7. McMurdo Air Station: Antarctica
McMurdo is located nearly 10,000 feet above sea level. The runway is not short but it is made completely of “white ice”. This is basically a military base and is the only main airport on the continent. This place becomes dark 24 hours. Pilots are trained to land blind during the whiteout. Pilots usually wear night vision goggles in order to land safely.
8. Narsarsuaq Airport: Greenland
This airport is located in the southern part of Greenland. This airport is also cold and has a 6,000-foot runway. But it has slick ice canvass and stormy weather that causes turbulence. Strong Winds can also divert the plane off course Low visibility here also makes it one of the most dangerous airports in the world. There is also a nearby active volcano that erupts quite often.
9. Madeira Airport: Portugal
Madeira is quite a popular destination among travelers but it also has one of the most dangerous airports in the world. So, it needs a bit of courage to fly to this airport. It had a short runway that was nearly doubled in 2000 to reach 9,124 feet. The extension is supported by 180 columns, which are in the ocean. Only a limited amount of pilots are qualified to fly into this airport and they need advance training on a simulator. The airport is also dangerous because of the high mountains on one side, ocean on the other side and influence of strong winds.
10. Tioman Airport: Malaysia
To land at Tioman Airport, the pilot needs to head straight for a mountain and then make a quick 90-degree turn to line up with the runway. The one-way landing has to be very fast because the runway ends to a cliff with a very steep fall into the waters below.
Next time when you are going to a country, check carefully and see if your flight is landing to any of these airports.