If you’ve got a fear of flying, then we’re going to give you fair warning about what follows. We’re cataloguing some of the most dangerous airports in the entire world. When you see the runways at these airports – how short they are, how high up in the mountains they are, what’s surrounding them – you may never want to get onto an airplane again…
Or, maybe they’re not that bad! But, these airports are certainly pretty nuts and pretty dangerous. From one that’s situated on a beach that goes underwater when its high tide, to one with a runway so short you won’t even believe anyone can take off or land there, you’re going to be impressed! So, let’s take a look at 15 of the craziest and most dangerous airports on the planet!
1. McMurdo Air Station
What makes this airport in Antarctica so dangerous? How about the fact that the three runways are literally made out of ice!
2. Damascus International Airport
It’s not the runways that make this airport one of the world’s most dangerous, it’s the growing civil tension and terrorism that has marked the airport’s recent history.
3. Gibraltar International
Gibraltar is a small island, and this international airport has an incredibly short runway that if overshot can lead to an airplane ending up in the water.
4. Courchevel International Airport
This French airport that’s high up in the mountains has an incredibly short runway that terminates at a cliff’s edge.
5. Barra Airport
Found in Scotland, this airport’s runways are on the beach, meaning that they’re technically underwater once high tide rolls in.
6. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport
Only the world’s best and bravest pilots are willing to land at this runway, which serves as the only landing spot on the island of Saba.
7. Princess Juliana International Airport
You know the pictures of that St. Maarten beach where the airplanes fly low overhead? Yeah. This is that airport.
8. Paro Airport
If you want to land at this airport in Bhutan, you will need to hire one of eight pilots in the world who are certified to navigate to and land there.
9. Narsarsuaq Airport
To reach this Greenland airport, pilots have to brave crossing through a fjord that causes an incredible amount of turbulence.
10. Kai Tak Airport
This airport in Hong Kong isn’t open anymore, because it proved way to dangerous, especially in such a densely populated area.
11. Toncontin Airport
High up in the mountains is where you’ll find this Honduran airport, which requires pilots to fly through a treacherous ravine in order to reach it.
12. Lukla Airport
Here’s another airport high up in the mountains where the runway terminates at the edge of a cliff. You’ll find this one in Nepal.
13. LaGuardia Airport
Not exceptionally dangerous in and of itself, one hesitates to think what would happen if an accident occurred here given the densely populated area that surrounds the airport.
14. MCAS Futenma
This air station is run by the U.S. Navy in Okinawa, and is considered by the Navy to be the most dangerous runway in the world.
15. Madeira Airport
This airport on the coast of Portugal has a runway that’s supported by columns and was expanded following a deadly accident in 1977.