Airport #4 Makes No Sense. The engineers had to be drunk!
As air travel became more affordable, millions of people daily get on planes to destinations they probably would have never thought of visiting about two decades ago. This means that the number of airports continue to increase around the world, even in some of the strangest and pretty dangerous locations. So, next time you book a flight, you might want to think twice before visiting these airports.
Tenzing–Hillary Airport, Nepal
The idea of climbing Mount Everest alone sounds crazy enough to the average human being. Now imagine that in order to get there you first have to land on what’s considered the world’s deadliest airport. Yes, the airport in the town of Lukla with a tiny 500 meter runway which is settled on a dangerous cliff is notorious for the number of accidents that it has caused. Now to all that, add the constantly changing weather conditions, and you get the picture.
Toncontin Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
The “Most Extreme Airports” program on the History Channel ranked Toncontin as the second most dangerous in the world. This extremely-difficult-to-approach airport will make landing troublesome even for the most skilled pilots. In order for them to reach the runway, they need to maneuver their aircraft through harsh weather conditions and terrain, make a 45-degree bank turn, and quickly drop in altitude.
Gibraltar International Airport
Looking at the picture of this airport, you probably can’t tell what is it that makes it so dangerous. Although you don’t see a mountain or a short runway, the Gibraltar airport is crossing the busiest street in the area. Due to its design, the traffic along Winston Churchill Avenue is stopped when planes land in order to avoid accidents.
Svalbard Airport, Norway
Svalbard Airport is the northernmost airport in the world which has frequent scheduled flights. This airport was originally constructed during second World War and wasn’t used for public flights until 1959. Surprisingly, this airport handles just over 154 thousand passengers each year.
Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong
With so many buildings north of the runway, landings required a lot of work from the pilots. Due to the dangerous location of the airport, it was eventually closed in 1925 and replaced by Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, a small island west of Hong Kong.
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island
This airport has one of the shortest commercial runways in the world at just 400 metres (1,312 ft) and at both ends of the runway, you’ll find steep cliffs that drop off into the sea. Because of the length, jetliners aren’t allowed to land here, but it is open to smaller propeller aircraft.
Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten
You have probably all heard of this airport, or at least seen some pictures of a jet landing right over the touristy Maho Beach. The Princess Juliana Airport was initially built for smaller planes but has now grown to become the second busiest airport in the Eastern Caribbean. If you visit the beach sitting behind the runway, you might find it difficult to simply sit and enjoy it because of high winds and sand that gets blown around by planes on takeoff and landing.
Pilots who land at this airport also have to face a runway which is barely long enough for larger planes and due to surrounding terrain, pilots are forced to make a left or a right turn shortly after takeoff to avoid the mountains. Fortunately though, even though this airport was ranked the 4th most dangerous airport in the world, there have so far been no recorded accidents.
Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand
This airport, called Thai by locals serves the greater area of Bangkok is the oldest operating airport in Asia, and one one of the oldest international airports in the world. We aren’t sure why, but someone probably thought a golf course between the runways was a good idea, so they built it. The golf course does of-course have some rule: no weapons and no pictures.
Courchevel International Airport in France
This airport which serves a ski resort in the popular French Alps. What makes Courchevel so dangerous, besides the narrow valleys and mountainous terrain, is the extremely short runway with a gradient of 18.6%. A truly terrifying video of a plane landing here went viral last year securing it a place on the list of the world’s most unsafe airports.
Gisborne Airport, New Zealand
Similar to the Gibraltar International Airport which has a runway that crosses a major street, this airport has a runway that crosses over a railway crossing.