The world’s most dangerous airports: Mountains peaks and scarily short runways

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The world’s most dangerous airports: Mountains peaks and scarily short runways

The world's most dangerous airports: Mountains peaks and scarily short runways


As convenient as the journey on a flight might seem to most, the experience can be quite frightening if you are landing on a risky airport runway.

Here is a list of some of the most dangerous airports in the world. And if you are landing on any of these, be prepared for a hair-raising adventure.

Juancho E Yrausquin Airport, Saba

Only about 400m in length, Juancho E Yrausquin Airport on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba is reputed to have the shortest commercial air strip in the world. While the runway looks picturesque, landing at the runway is quite risky. It makes landing a challenge even for extremely skilled pilots.

Picture courtesy: Facebook/Caribbean Discourse

Paro Airport, Bhutan

This airport in Bhutan is surrounded by mountain peaks as high as 18,000 ft and is deemed one of the most dangerous airports in the world. The runway strip is about 6,500 ft long, on which large planes have to make a fast descent. Only a select number of pilots are certified to land at the airport.

Picture courtesy: Facebook/Devi Octaviani

Princess Juliana International Airport, Sint Maarten

Princess Princess Juliana International Airport is located on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. To land on this airport, pilots have to fly over a little part of a beach, cross over a fence, pass over a road, and then reach the runway. The runway is dangerous because pilots, when flying over water, can become disoriented regarding their perceived altitude. Departure from the runway is known to be more difficult than the approach, with a turn required to avoid mountains in the departure path.

Picture courtesy: Facebook/St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

Lukla Airport, Nepal

The landing and take-off strips at Lukla Airport, Nepal, are very short. Also known as Tenzing-Hillary Airport, it operates at an altitude of 8,000 ft and has virtually no modern air traffic control features. Arriving and departing aircrafts must use a single runway. Besides, there is high terrain immediately beyond the northern end of the runway and a steeply angled drop at the southern end of the runway into the valley below.

Picture courtesy: Facebook/Les Others

Toncontin International Airport, Honduras

Located about 6km from the centre of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, this airport has a single runway at an elevation of 3,297 ft. The runway is only 6,631 ft long. Planes have to fly through mountain and then make a 45-degree bank to effectively land on the runway. Due to the mountainous terrain, passengers experience a quick drop in altitude during landing.

Picture courtesy: Facebook/PdotG Group

Madeira Airport, Portugal

Situated between steep cliffs and the ocean shores, the airport’s short runway is known well for its inconsistent winds. The location and construction of the airport, also known as Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, is what makes it quite peculiar. Pilots must undergo additional training to land at the airport. While the original runway was only 5,249 ft, it was extended to 9,124 ft in 2000. The extension, however, is built on a platform, partly over the ocean and is supported by 180 columns.

Picture courtesy: Facebook/World Beautiful Destinations

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