10 Most Dangerous Airports In The World

10 Most Dangerous Airports In The World

Pilots say that the taking off and the landing parts when in a flight are the most risky. But there are instances when hazards are there to add to the danger like mountain tops, edges of a cliff, beach landing full of people and the regular road; still there are pilots, both the airline and private ones, who just can’t seem to get enough of the adrenaline rush and go for it! This article will discuss about the most daring airports in the world since deadly airline catastrophes have been enumerated before. Secure your belts, ladies and gentlemen:

10. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island

Saba Island is a beautiful place – a Caribbean haven for your ultimate holiday but getting there is super stressful because their runway is only 1,300 foot long! But that’s not all. At the edge of the runway is a cliff which then leads to the ocean and its surroundings is filled with high rock faces. These hazards make the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport of Saba Island a contender for the most dangerous airports in the world.

If the pilot makes a small miscalculation upon takeoff, they crash into the ocean. Cessna planes, those tiny jets, are also having difficulties taking off and landing here so what more if it’s a big plane? And add to that unforgiving rain showers, the whole ordeal would be disastrous in a heartbeat. No wonder the beach heaven is losing tourists from other nations – blame it on the airport!

9. Qamdo Bamda Airport, Tibet

Qamdo Bamda Airport, Tibet

This Tibetan airport is the highest airstrip all over the globe at 14,000 feet above mean sea level. The flight strip is remarkable too for it measures 3 and a half miles which is much more than any regular runway. That’s about 60 soccer fields long but there is an importance to this – if the runway is above mean sea level, landing the aircraft is perilous because for one, the climate can become erratic at any time and affect the approach of the jet.

If the plane’s speed is around 150 miles per hour, the landing field needed is 5,000 feet for the jet to halt. So, if the runway’s above mean sea level is at 14,000 feet, the length necessary to make it land and stop safely is just about 10,000 feet. Flying at 14,000 feet altitude is risky enough and very daring move – vacationers must see to it that they can handle such perils.

8. Gustaf III Airport, Saint Barthélemy

Gustaf III Airport, Saint Barthélemy

They say that small airports are terribly risky because of its narrowness and nothing could be closer to the truth when it comes to this small airport – the Gustaf III of Saint Barthélemy in the Caribbeans. Pilots and all their customers are presented with extreme risks that is so jaw-dropping, to say the least. It has a constricted corridor which can hit the uplands in just a small flick. The jet can also dive down to the ocean if there is a teenie-tiny technical error. Look at this YouTube video. What do you think? At least, none of them got hurt, by some stroke of magic!

7. Ice Runway, Antarctica

Ice Runway, Antarctica

It won’t matter much if the landing strip is icy or slippery. The problem with Ice Runway of Antarctica is when the weather won’t cooperate – that can post some serious challenges for the pilot. There are only 3 airports in Antarctica that bring in supplies and scientists to the McMurdo Station. If you notice, the airport is called Ice Runway because it doesn’t have a tarmac in position. The runway is plain ice. The good thing about it is that the area is so big, huge planes can land on it.

There are two things to consider though – the plane can’t get snow-jammed and it can’t be too heavy because the ice might crack and that’s life-threatening bad. When Ice Runway is all cracked, pilots are advised to land on Antarctica’s other airports, Pegasus Field or Williams Field.

6. Courchevel Airport, France

Courchevel Airport, France

Europe is famous for its ski resorts and Courchevel City is home to these holiday attractions because it’s in the French Alps. It is quite treacherous to land on this mountain-surrounded airport, though. The city’s airport is well-known because of its unusual spot and great altitude. It was once featured in a Bond Film starring Pierce Brosnan called Tomorrow Never Dies – Bond was able to land the jet in this exceedingly unsafe mountain airport and it was not at all easy for him to do!

5. Barra International Airport, Scotland

Barra International Airport, Scotland

A warning… You will find this revolting because Barra Airport of Scotland is also a public beach! Yes, ladies and gents, the planes take off and land in a beach full of people strolling and swimming! But that’s not the cherry on top of the pie; at night, the lights helping the pilots when they land is from the cars driving past the beach! Seriously!

There are warning signs everywhere as to planes taking off and landing but people seem to ignore it. Air Traffic Organization still considers Barra Airport an international airstrip even with its lack of safety precautions and there’s nothing you can do about it.

4. Toncontin International Airport, Honduras

Toncontin International Airport, Honduras

The Toncontin International Airport of Tegucigalpa is an outrageous airport and that is meant in the most negative way. It is downright dangerous to take off and land in this strip – fatal accidents have happened in the past – one of which took the lives of 5 people. The airport is outdated, the runway is short at 7,000 feet and get this, it is located in a mountainous region. What’s more is that the airport uses the same strip to land and to take off! The show must go on, they say, so even Boeing 757 planes approach and depart this dangerous airport every single day because they have to!

3. Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal

Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal

The Tenzing-Hillary Airport was once the Lukla Airport. They had it changed to honor the first people who reached the peak of Everest. The airstrip is servicing climbers and fanatics who either wish to climb Mt. Everest or to tour the icy surroundings. Some of the risks involved when landing and taking off at this snowy airport are clouds and strong winds.

These are nothing compared to the most dangerous aspect of the airport – it is located in high altitude with a 2,000 feet cliff awaiting the pilot who makes a mistake or when the jet malfunctions. Their most recent accident happened in 2012, October 12th.

2. Madeira Airport, Portugal

Madeira Airport, Portugal

Madeira Airport began its operations in 1964 and their two airstrips used to be 5,250 feet long. In 1977, a devastating accident happened – a Boeing 727 crashed a bridge and went all the way to the beach near the airport. With that, they were forced to extend the strip for a measly 655 feet.

Decades after, authorities found it necessary to add more of the runway so, they moved it further which touched the beach line but even with that extension, it is still very difficult to approach. A skilled pilot must overcome the mountain top by before quickly swerving the plane so it can be positioned at the bank and land on the extended runway. Whew, that was tiring.

1. Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar

Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar

Who would have thought that the most dangerous airport in the world is also one of the most hectic landing strips? Believe it now – this airport’s corridor is part of the city’s main street so yeah, planes zoom in and out on a main road just like that! The cars need to stop if a plane passes through just like it’s a traffic light warning them – RED LIGHT, PLANE POPPING BY. With God’s grace, no major accident has ever happened in this airport.

  • Nabil Saad