Undoubtedly, traveling by air is the safest and fastest means of transportation in the universe. When you are thinking of embarking on long journey, it seems to the best option out there. Despite the immense benefits you will enjoy when you fly, there are still some mishaps that could confront you. Though air mishap or plane crash rarely happens, but when it does, the chance of survival is extremely slim. Experts believe that plane crashes often happen during takeoff or landing.
This brings us to why airports could affect your safety. There are some airports where their runways are not that smooth, straight enough or spacious for planes in landing easily. This is why they are considered as dangerous airports. For you to land in these airports, you need to be in the hands of very skilled pilots. Here on Naijauto, are the most dangerous airports in the world.
1. Lukla Airport in Nepal
Though known by some people as Tenzing-Hilary Airport, but it is also referred as Lukla Airport. The small airport is located in the town in Lukla, Khumbu, at the district of Solukhumbu. This airport is mainly used by people who are planning a visit to the Mount Everest. This airport has retained its spot as one of the most dangerous airports for over two decades.
The fact that the airport is constructed in between mountains and the presence of very short length contribute to why it a dangerous place for a plane to land. Not just that, there is absence of air traffic controllers. The pilot has to use his/her intuitive to land the aircraft, whether large or small plane.
If you are taking a trip to Mt. Everest, this should be your last airport for landing
There have been several documented reports of multiple crashes at the airport, which has led to loss of lives and properties worth fortune. If you dream of visiting Mount Everest, be ready to land in this airport.
2. Courchevel International Airport, France
An altiport serving the Courchevel, the airport is a ski resort in the French Alps. It has an airfield that has a runway of just 537 meters and a downward gradient of 18.5%. These are what make this dangerous airport a difficult place to take off. Also, due to its terrain which is mostly mountain, there is no go around procedure for pilot to land at Courchevel Airport.
This is quite an extreme terrain for a plane to land
2. Toncontin Airport, Honduras
One of the most dangerous airports on our list is the Teniente Coronel Hernan Acosta Mejia airport also known as Toncontin International Airport. It is located 6 km from Tegucigalpa center in Honduras. It serves both military and civil purpose. Pilots have always found it very difficult to land in that area, because of the location in mountainous site.
DANGEROUS Approach! Landing at Toncontin International Airport - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
An aircraft needs to take a quick 45 degree bank turn in reaching the valley runaway in order to prepare for descent. Immediately after this bank, the aircraft must quickly drop in altitude while taking precaution of not scraping the terrain underneath directly.
3. Princess Juliana International Airport in Saint Maarten
This is the main airport on the St Maarten Caribbean Island. The airport is found in the Dutch side of this island right in the country of St Maarten. The airport took charge of over 1.8 people in sixty thousand flights in 2015. Princess Juliana International Airport has a strong reputation for beach located just before you get to the runway. With its 2179 meters of runway, it is often classified as a dangerous runway for big plane that needs up to 2500 meters for safe landing.
If your plan is to go on a vacation to the beach close to Princess Juliana Airport, best of luck to you
The initial idea behind the airport was for smaller aircrafts. But due to the emergence and increasing population of tourists, it soon became haven for regular planes.
4. Paro Airport in Bhutan, Himalayan Mountain
Out of the four airports in Bhutan, Paro Airport seems to be the main international airport. In distance, it is 6km away from Paro right into deep valley situated at the bank of river Paro Chhu. It has always been ranked as one of the most dangerous airports in the globe. With its runway length of 1981 meters, only eight pilots are qualified to land in this airstrip.
Due to technicalities and extreme difficulty in landing, only 8 eight pilots are allowed to land here
5. Gibraltar International Airport
This airport is located in one of the remote places in southern Europe. Unlike other airports on this list, this airport danger doesn’t lie in its runaway length but in design features. There is an interception in the runway by a street known as Churchill Avenue. Anytime there is a possible landing, the airport needs to close the runaway using spotlights on the road instructing vehicles to stop and allow a plane to land.
Dangerous Gibraltar Airport | British Airways @ Gibraltar | 4K
6. McMurdo Air Station, Antarctica
As we all know that only few people in this planet would be interested to visit Antarctica region. This makes it lack a proper airport. It takes an excellent piloting skill to land safely and successfully in this region. If not, you might experience a plane running askew due to slick ice.
Possibility of crashing your aircraft into ice here, is very high- Beware!
7. Madeira Airport in Portugal
When it comes to one of the very few airports in the world where engineers construct a runway platform for expansion, Madeira Airport is definitely one of them. The danger lies in the landing strips, which sits between steep cliffs and ocean shores. Because of this, pilots are not given enough space to land. A project to expand the island was planned by group of engineers, who found alternative solution by constructing series of platforms on artificial island. This is an extension of the main runway. The runway therefore is held by more than 180 columns to help in withstanding loading shock in the process of landing.
Despite efforts by engineers to expand the runway, Taking off and landing is still pretty difficult
8. MCAS Futenma, Okinawa
You will find this airport at the US Marine Corp station in Okinawa, Japan. According to the report from Navy and Marine Corps, this airport is ranked as the most dangerous airport in the planet. This is the same airport where V-22 osprey and F/A-18 Hornets usually land.
The US military are not ready to leave yet despite people living around this dangerous airport
It is a strategic area and very valuable to the US military. That is why much attention is not paid to the danger, especially for their operations. The presence of high density habitats that ought to be cleared for emergency situation also add to the danger of this airport. This is indeed a nightmare for most airlines.
9. Narsarsuaq Airport, Greenland
If you are looking for airport that is constantly covered in ice, look no further. The 1,800 meters Greenland is mostly canvassed in slick ice. Many pilots would dread of using the runway in this airport. The extreme constant stormy weather is enough to create intense turbulence and lack of visibility when approaching it. This airport is really unsafe for both passengers and even the flight staff.
Landing here as an amateur pilot is a suicide mission!
If you are a big fan of going round the world, and you wouldn’t mind landing in one of the most dangerous airports listed in this article, then you should receive a medal of bravery.
Best of luck in your adventure!