10 Most dangerous runways in the world

dangerous runways in the world

Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal

Tenzing-Hillary Airport, often known as Lukla Airport, is one of the most perilous airports in the world. With its height of approximately 9,500 feet, erratic Himalayan weather, and sheer drop, the airport can give even the bravest of travellers shivers.

Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten

The runway at the airport is slightly over 7,500 feet long, which puts it close on the edge of being able to accommodate larger planes. This means that aeroplanes must use every single foot of runway, and it also allows for very low aircraft to arrive at the end of the runway and pass over the ocean.

Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, Portugal

Madeira Airport, often known as Funchal Airport, is an international airport in the municipal parish of Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal’s archipelago and autonomous province. Due to its location in the Atlantic Ocean, it is subjected to strong crosswinds at times. The runway’s extension into the ocean has merely increased the runway’s susceptibility to Atlantic winds.

​Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington DC

It necessitates a convoluted visual approach in order for pilots to avoid high-profile buildings like as the Pentagon and the White House. This is useful for low and weaving turns near the ground. Similarly, jets departing Reagan Airport perform a fast turn just seconds after takeoff to avoid the Washington Monument and the White House.

Paro Airport, Bhutan

Single about 20 pilots are licenced to fly into Bhutan’s only airport. The steep banking on the approach across the Himalayan highlands gives the impression that the wingtip is almost touching the peaks.

Lukla Airport, Nepal

The Lukla Airport in Nepal, which is located near Mt. Everest and passes through frigid terrain, is the primary airport for visitors to Mt. Everest. The landing can be as spectacular as the ascent to the famous mountain because it is situated between mountains and has a very small runway. When the airport is without electricity, the pilots must maintain regular communication with the air controllers during the landing.

Tenzing airport, located in the Himalayan highlands at a height of 9,325 feet, is the most popular destination for trekkers to the region. It was named for the first two climbers who ascended Mt. Everest and is the most popular station for trekkers to the vicinity. The airport is situated on the side of a mountain, with a 1,600-foot-long one-way runway that has substantial gradients and angles. The runway has a mountain wall on one end and a dramatic 2,000-foot drop into the valley on the other.

Toncontin Airport / Honduras

The landing is extremely difficult due to the runway’s low width and proximity to the mountains. The experience is sometimes compared to landing on an aircraft carrier since pilots are compelled to perform a spectacular quick turn and land near the valley. I saw firsthand how frequent wind gusts and severe weather circumstances hampered pilots as they attempted a direct head-on landing, with the greatest concern of a huge aircraft overshooting the runway if not landed perfectly on target. Passengers were hailed by machine gun-toting security officers as we disembarked, adding to our spectacular entrance.

Paro Airport / Bhutan

Only 17 trained pilots are permitted to land on a runway surrounded by rugged 18,000-foot mountain peaks at Bhutan’s airport. Arrivals and departures are only permitted during the daylight on the 6,500-foot runway. The dramatic approach to the runway, which involves manoeuvring between mountains at a 45-degree angle before dropping fast onto the runway, is completely out of sight for the pilots until the last minute. On approach, the bottom of the plane approaches uncomfortably near to mountaintop homes, with one red cliffside home serving as the primary focal point for pilots.

Saba Airport / Dutch Caribbean

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is located on Saba, the original King Kong movie island, and is noted for having one of the world’s smallest commercial airport runways. Only well-trained pilots are permitted to fly in the region, which is only 1,300 feet long. The approach is almost cliff-like, running alongside Saba’s rugged topography, and then an abrupt bank left before landing. I’ll be taking the ferry from neighbouring St. Maarten on my future visit.

Wellington International Airport / New Zealand

A single-lane, 6,351-foot runway appears to start and finish in the ocean at this airport. The tough approach across the mountainous area is noted for its strong gusts, which make landings particularly difficult. You may also be carried up by hurricane-force winds once you depart. It was a great time!

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

This Ice Runway is created on the exposed volcanic rock of Ross Island’s Hut Point Peninsula, with a runway made entirely of “white ice” (four inches of compacted snow.)

During the summer season, the US Antarctic Program uses the Ice Runway, which is adjacent to McMurdo Station. This military installation is the continent’s sole major airport, and the area is dark 24 hours a day throughout the winter. Pilots are trained to land blind if there are no lights on the runway or if there is a whiteout.

Princess Juliana International Airport / St. Maarten

The public beach of Maho is located at the end of this runway, resulting in massive gusts of wind and sand for sunbathers while also providing a wonderful Instagram photo. The runway is 7,100 feet long, and planes must approach over the water at a very low height, only a few feet above the public’s heads.

Narsarsuaq Airport, Greenland

This airport is situated in the southern portion of Greenland, surrounded by numerous fjords. The most dangerous aspect of landing on the 6,000-foot runway is the strong gusts. If the nearby volcano explodes with blinding ash, don’t even consider coming here.

Gisborne Airport, New Zealand

This airport, which is located on the outskirts of Gisborne, New Zealand, has a railway that runs parallel to the runway. It intersects with the national railway line and has three grass runways and one main runway. To avoid incoming trains, landings are coordinated with precise timings.

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