The World’s Most Dangerous Airports – KnowledgeDish

The World’s Most Dangerous Airports


What goes up must come – we all know the cliché. Airplanes flying off traditional runways need somewhere to land. More often than nought, chartered airplanes take-off and land on the conventional tarmac of generic airports. There’s nothing really distinct about the process. Some aircraft transport people to remote locations with vivid landscapes. In those cases, the airport itself becomes an experience. Whether it’s the airport architecture, land, or the environment, spectators marvel at these airports.

Then there’s airports where you cling to your seat in fear for your life during take-off and landing. We’ve collected a list of interesting airports from around the world. It would be a privilege to touch down on some of these airports, and it wouldn’t be so pleasant to land on some others. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be seeing some of these airports first hand.

Tenzing–Hillary Airport, Nepal

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Mount Everest, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is the largest mountain above sea-level. Most revere its beauty from afar, but a few seek the glory of conquering it.

Mount Everest poses immense danger to all daring to scale its peak. Hundreds lost their lives aspiring to accomplish this great feat. If climbing this 29 thousand foot mountain isn’t risky enough, why not add a life threatening flight to get there?

Tenzing–Hillary Airport, located in eastern Nepal, is where most people start camp to climb Mount Everest. Nepali authorities named the airport after the first two men to reach Mount Everest’s summit: Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Both individuals contributed to the construction of this airport in 1964.

The Tenzing-Hillary stands  9,334 feet high. This airport is tiny. There’s only one runway for aircraft both taking-off and landing. The high elevation and steep angled drops at both ends of the short 525 foot runway intimidate some pilots and passengers to avoid this airport altogether.

In 2010, the History Channel proclaimed the Tenzing-Hillary the most dangerous airport in over two decades.

On occasion, this airport closes its facilities from heavy rain, cloud cover, and high winds. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal only regulates experienced pilots to use this airport. The requirements include 100 short take-off and landing missions for at least a year in Nepal. Nepali and civil police constantly monitor the Tenzing-Hillary.

Toncontin Airport, Honduras

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The Toncontin Airport, in Honduras, presents challenges for all pilots attempting to land. The origins of the name Toncontin is unclear, but many suspect the name derives from the Aztec term Tocotin, a revered traditional dance.

On January 5, 1934, this airport welcomed the landing of its first plane. This military and public Central American airport encountered its fair share of conflict since then.

In 1969, Honduras and El Salvador collided in the Football War. Political tensions wedged between both countries and it all culminated after riots from a FIFA qualifying series. The Salvadoran Air Force bombed the Toncontin International Airport several times. A ceasefire eventually ended the conflict.

The History Channel ranked the Toncontin Airport as the second most dangerous airport in the world. Pilots must perform a 45 degree turn into a short runway to avoid the surrounding mountains.

Gibraltar International Airport, United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence owns the Gibraltar International Airport. The Royal Air Force leverages the Gibraltar’s runways. Not to worry though, the airport is civilian-friendly.

However, there is something that should worry you. The History Channel labelled the Gibraltar the fifth most extreme airport.

If traffic on the road wasn’t bad enough, try adding airplanes into the mix.

The Gibraltar runway intersects with Winston Churchill Avenue. The street leads to area’s most prominent sports facility – Victoria Stadium.

Labourers built Gibraltar’s first terminal in 1959. This terminal size reached 220,000 square feet. The Ministry of Defence finished renovations in 2011. The new terminal totalled 380,000 square feet.

In 2016, the Gibraltar produced 4,968 aircraft movements. The airport’s combined aircraft operations carried 548,230 passengers and 404 tonnes of cargo.

Svalbard Airport, Norway

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How about that view?

Avinor owns the Svalbard Airport in Norway. Technically, the Svalbard archipelago, where this airports sits on, isn’t officially titled as a Norwegian county, but Norway governs the area. The Svalbard islands rest between Norway and the North Pole.

The Svalbard archipelago contains seven national parks and twenty three nature reserves spanning two-thirds of its surface.

Svalbard Airport holds the distinction of being the most northern airport in the world with scheduled public flights. Glaciers blanket 60% of the archipelago.

The Svalbard airport operates on a 2,483 metre runway.

After seeing the traffic congestion of the United Kingdom’s Gibraltar’s airport, there’s one thing we can appreciate about this remote facility. The Svalbard Airport holds 200 free outdoor parking spots.

Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

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The Kai Tak Airport doesn’t shout out safety to you does it?

In 1912,  Ho Kai and Au Tak, two businessmen, invested in a plot of land in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The Kai Tak Investment Company’s business plan failed.

The Hong Kong government attained the land and designed an airfield.

In World War II, the Japanese seized Hong Kong. The Japanese military forced Allied prisoners-of-war to develop the Kai Tak Airport. These prisoners built two concrete runways using materials robbed from Hong Kong’s memorials.

In 1954, the Kai Tak Airport became known as the Hong Kong International Airport.

Hong Kong’s population drastically increased in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This population burst strained the Kai Tak and made it the third most overloaded international passenger traffic airport in the world.

The History Channel rated the Kai Tak the 6th most dangerous airport in the world. Kai Tak Airport demanded pilots to manoeuvre around buildings leading to the runway. Former passengers claimed they could see the televisions in people’s apartments.

On July 6, 1998, the Kai Tak closed.

Hong Kong’s new international airport opened in Chek Lap Kok.

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island

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Winair controls the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport. The name derives from former Aruban Minister Juancho Irausquin.

The Juancho Airport resides in Saba, a small island in the Caribbean. Saba is a municipality of Netherlands. The island contains active volcanoes.

This airport’s paved runway reached 400 metres in length, one of the smallest commercial runways available. Jet airplanes can’t land at the Juancho Airport. The runway only supports short take-off and landing aircraft. The airport contains a helipad, terminals, and a one truck fire department.

Pilots flying to the Juancho Airport must ensure they land perfectly. Airplanes that can’t stop in time go swimming.

Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Martin

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Imagine the warmth of the sun resting on your skin. You’re relaxing on a beautiful Saint Martin beach in the Caribbean. You recline on your towel with your eyes closed. The rhythm of the waves almost lulls you to sleep.

A screeching disrupts your serenity. The noise intensifies.

Your eyes jolt open. An airplane just barely swoops over you.

Welcome to the Princess Juliana International Airport.

The Beach beside the airport maybe isn’t best for falling asleep, but there’s no denying its style. It’s an interesting idea. An idea with its fair share of difficulties. The airport’s 2,300 metre runway begins over water and that can disorient a pilot’s awareness of their elevation

Developers structured the Princess Juliana International Airport’s terminal to accommodate 2.5 million annual passengers.

Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand

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On March 27, 1914, the Royal Thai Air Force established Don Mueang Airfield in Bangkok. By 1924, the airfield hosted public flights.

In 1933, the Japanese controlled Don Mueang. The airfield endured several Allied aircraft bombing runs.

The United States of America leveraged Don Mueang International during the Vietnam war.

In 2006, the Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok’s second international airport, opened its facilities. The Don Mueang’s rich history didn’t prevent it from closing that same year.

In 2007, Don Mueang International reopened. Suvarnabhumi’s safety hazards like cracked pavement and high-costs motivated the public to return to Asia’s oldest operating airport.

In 2015, the Don Mueang International registered as the world’s largest low-cost carrier airport.

Courchevel International Airport, France

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The Courchevel is a luxurious ski resort in the French Alps.

Courchevel contains 11 five-star hotels. France established a special six-star rating for only eight hotels in the country. Courchevel owns two of those eight six-star ratings. As you can see in the image above the resort even carries its own airport.

This miniature airport for small aircraft and helicopters positioned in mountainous terrain is known as an altiport.

Courchevel altiport’s upslope runway is 539 metres long. This short runway poses problems for pilots. Courchevel’s elevation of 2,008 metres endangers aircraft that don’t generate enough lift before reaching its end. The absence of proper lighting endangers airplanes when confronted with fogs or low clouds.

The History channel labelled the Courchevel Altiport the seventh most extreme airport in the world.

Madeira Airport, Portugal

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Can we all agree that at the very least Portugal’s Madeira Airport looks cool?

In 1964, Madeira Airport opened. Its straight-forward name descends from the Madeira archipelago in Portugal. Designers equipped this airport with a 1,600 metre runway bridge.

As the Madeira island progressed in popularity, its airport’s runway grew. By 2002, Madeira’s airport measured 2,781 metres.

In 2016, ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, the operator, renamed Madeira Airport after a hometown kid turned global celebrity. Madeira Airport unveiled their new name – Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International.

That same year, ANA Aeroportos de Portugal invested €11 million in renovations. Madeira Airport claims the capacity to accommodate 1,400 passengers per hour.

Madeira Airport’s innovative design challenges pilot’s abilities. ANA Aeroportos de Portugal permits only pilots with specific training to land at its airport.

The History Channel places Madeira Airport in the ninth slot of the world’s most extreme airports.

MCAS Futenma, Japan

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The United States operates the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma in Okinawa, Japan.

In 1945, the United States constructed the MCAS Futenma airfield after the Battle of Okinawa, the Allied invasion of the island.

As you can see, Futenma is positioned in the middle of a city. Ginowan City contains a population of 99,661 people. Many local residents despise the airbase for its noise, soil and water pollution. Protests frequently cause commotions outside Futenma’s gates.

The United Nations leverages Futenma as an air distribution facility for service in times of catastrophe.

Every year, the Futenma Flight Line Fair attracts thousands of spectators with entertainment, aircraft displays, and military demonstrations. Around 70,000 onlookers visited the 2013 festivities.

Political tension boils over the ongoing debate of airbase relocation.

Narsarsuaq Airport, Greenland

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This airports roots back to World War II. In 1941, The United States Department of Defence built the Narsarsuaq to station their air force.

Today the Narsarsuaq is open to the public. The Greenland Airport Authority operates the Narsarsuaq Airport. The 1,830 metre runway is not the safest. Ice, strong winds, and large surrounding fjords pester potential pilots.

In Southern Greenland, Narsarsuaq Airport is the only international airport. Despite its history, Narsarsuaq growth declines due to volatile economic conditions and competition with organizations like Air Iceland for air transit routes.

Future closure plans loom over Narsarsuaq Airport. The coming Qaqortoq airport projects to take its place.

Qamdo Bamda Airport, Tibet

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The Qamdo Bamda Airport, Tibet, China, stands 14,219 feet above sea level. Qamdo Bamda once held the world record for the world’s highest airport. China’s Daocheng Yading Airport now holds that title.

Qamdo Bamda’s runway extends 5.5 km and it’s the longest paved public runway in the world.

The length of Qamdo Bamda’s runway is important because at its elevation it’s hard for airplanes to generate lift. The long runway allows pilots more opportunity to get off the ground.

Qamdo Bamda airport experiences tumultuous weather with high winds and cold temperatures.

In 2007, the Qamdo Bamda underwent renovations. Around 2018, developers anticipate the completion of a 4000 metre second runway.

Gisborne Airport, New Zealand

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Some airports play it safe, but apparently the Gisborne Airport likes to live dangerously.

If you thought the United Kingdom’s Gibraltar International Airport was risky with cars crossing the runway, the Gisborne Airport raises the ante.

The Palmerston North-Gisborne railway line cuts across Gisborne’s 4298 foot central runway. When operational, trains need approval from an air traffic control tower to cross the airport.

The Eastland Group operates the Gisborne Airport in New Zealand. Gisborne Airport can transport passengers domestically to the Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, and Wellington airports.

Gisborne airport possesses one terminal, two gates, and four runways. Passengers can visit the airport’s V2 cafe.

São Paulo–Congonhas Airport, Brazil

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Like Japan’s Futenma Airport, urban habitations surround Brazil’s São Paulo–Congonhas Airport.

Not only do pilots need to worry about flying over city infrastructure, São Paulo–Congonhas’ runways didn’t work well in the rain. The Brazilian government replaced the slippery runways for new ones with grooves that gather extra water.

The Brazilian government owns Infraero, the company that operates São Paulo–Congonhas Airport.
São Paulo–Congonhas airport opened in 1936.

The São Paulo–Congonhas, specializing in domestic flights, is South America’s busiest airport. In 2016, the Congonhas Airport yielded 20,816,957 passengers.

In 1996, an aircraft crashed after a Congonhas Airport take-off and killed all 96 people aboard the plane and three civilians on the ground.

Barra International Airport, Scotland

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In August 1936, Barro Airport opened.

Highlands and Islands Airport Limited, funded by the Scottish government, runs the Barra International. This public airport only supports short take-off and landing airplanes.

The Barra International is one of the only airports in the world where scheduled flights take-off from the beach. The runway resides on Tràigh Mhòr’s shallow bay. Tràigh Mhòr is a white beach with hard solid sand.

The airport’s scheduled flights depend entirely on the intensity of the tide. If there’s a high tide, Barra International cancels its flights.

Many tourists perceive Barra International as an attraction in itself and desire to experience its beach flights.

Agatti Aerodrome, India

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The Agatti Airport’s runway seems a perfect fit for this archipelago’s shape. The Agatti Island is largely situated on coral reef in the Lakshadweep Sea.

In 1988, the Indian government unveiled the Agatti airport. The Airports Authority of India (AAI), a branch of the Ministry of Civil Aviation operates the Agatti and controls a total of 125 airports.

The Agatti cover 45.9 acres. It’s asphalt runway measures in at 1291 metres. The Agatti Airport terminal handles a capacity of 50 people at its busiest.

The Airports Authority of India plans future expansions for the Agatti. The AAI will extend the runway and build an additional terminal with full air-conditioning among other alterations.

Damascus International Airport, Syria

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Where most of the airports have weather or high-altitude problems, the Damascus International Airport is dangerous in a different way.

In the mid-1970s, the Damascus International Airport opened in Syria. This airport became the most frequented in the country. In 2010, around 5.5 million passengers visited Damascus International.

Today, this airport isn’t on the average person’s list of airports to experience. The Damascus International stands in the middle of a war zone.

The Syrian Civil War created extreme instability in the country.

In 2012, fighting around the airport closed the facilities for two days. Many countries stopped flying to Damascus.

In 2017,  Israeli planes allegedly bombed an area close the Damascus International Airport.

Cleveland Hopkins International, United States

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The City of Cleveland owns the public Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The name derives from former city manager and founder, William R. Hopkins. Cleveland International’s longest runway is 3,034 metres long.

The Cleveland Hopkins International receives its significance from being the first airport in the world in many categories. In 1930, Cleveland Hopkins International contained the first air traffic control tower, the first runway lighting system, the first radio controlled ground and air system, and the first airport to separate arrivals and departures through a two-level terminal.

In the last decade, this airport received its fair share of negative criticism.

In 2013, the former free half-hour parking switched to $3.

In 2015, The Cleveland International Airport temporarily changed its pick-up and drop-off locations that inconvenienced passengers. In 2017, when the change became official, people voiced their disapproval through social media and media outlets.

Kansai International Airport, Japan

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Does something feel a bit off with this island? If you thought something was, you’re right. This island sitting on Osaka Bay, Japan, is artificial.

In 1987, construction began. Builders formed the seawall with the rocks from three mountains.

The 3 km bridge linking Kansai International to the mainland cost $1 billion. The Kansai International Airport project cost $15 billion, one of the most pricey civil works ever constructed.

The total construction time logged 10 million work hours with 10,000 workers. The three year successful innovative project helped further future artificial island deposits.

However, Kansai International’s island did suffer from severe sinking. In 1994, the island sank 50 cm per year.

In 1995, the Kobe earthquake ravaged Japan’s mainland and killed 6,434 people. Kansai International survived unaffected.

In 2001, the American Society of Civil Engineers awarded Kansai International with the Civil Monument of the Millennium.

By 2008, developers limited the island’s sink rate to 7 cm per year.

In 2016, Kansai International listed as Japan’s 3rd busiest airport with 25.2 million passengers per year.

Wellington International Airport, New Zealand

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Before the Wellington International Airport was New Zealand’s 3rd busiest airport, it went by the name Rongotai.

Initially in 1929, Rongotai airport only consisted of a grass runway. Rongotai officially opened in 1935.

In 1947, authorities closed down the airport. They deemed it unsafe in the winter.

In 1959, the local Chamber of Commerce lobbied and the airport returned, this time they named it Wellington.
Wellington International Airport sits on 270 acres of land. It’s grooved asphalt runway measures 2,081 metres long.

This public airport is a joint-venture. Infratil, an infrastructure investment company, privately owns 66% of Wellington International, and Wellington City Council, a New Zealand territorial authority, publically owns 34%.

Heavy winds sometimes leads to rough landings at Wellington International.

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, United States

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By all accounts, the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport seems normal, aside from two abnormal details.

This airport dates back to 1929. Its had various names throughout the years. In 1983, the City of Savannah named it the Savannah International Airport and renamed it the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in 2003.

Savannah/Hilton Head International is a public airport in Georgia, but it also provides military operations. The Savannah Air National Guard Base stations on site of this airport.

Savannah/Hilton Head International spreads across 3,650 acres. It’s elevated 15 metres above sea level. This airport possesses two concrete runways, one 2,850 metres long, and the other 2,134 metres long.

So what’s abnormal about this airport then? Well, it’s revealed in the image above.

The Dotson family used to own land where the Savannah/Hilton Head International resides. In World War II, the military expanded their airbase and built over the Dotson farm land, and the Dotson family cemetery.

On Savannah/Hilton Head International’s runway 10, two grave-markers commemorate the Dotsons.

Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador

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The Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport is no longer in operation.

Once upon a time, the Old Mariscal Sucre International was Ecuador’s busiest airport in passenger volume, and aircraft and cargo movement. It was also one of the most elevated airports in the world at 2,800 metres high.

This airport connects its name to an icon in Latin America’s liberation. Antonio José de Sucre fought for South American States free from Spanish rule.

Old Mariscal Sucre International began in 1960. In 2011, the airport served approximately 8,900,000 passengers with a 10,236 foot asphalt runway.

In 2013, the Old Mariscal Sucre International closed. The New Mariscal Sucre International Airport opened the next day.

A large reason this old airport closed is because of its flight danger. The Old Mariscal Sucre International’s congested runway, fog interference, high altitude, looming mountains, and threatening volcanoes all contributed to the relocation.

Today, the Old Mariscal Sucre International is now converted into Bicentennial Park for outdoor activities and events.

Paro Airport, Himalayan Mountains

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Paro Airport is the only international airport in the country of Bhutan. Bhutan’s Department of Civil Aviation operates Paro Airport.

This airport began in 1968 as a modest airstrip. Paro Airport was the only airport in Bhutan until 2011. Now Paro is the only international airport out of four airports in the country.

Paro International Airport rests in a valley 2,235 metres above the sea. It’s surrounded by mountains higher than 5,000 metres. Paro’s sole runway reaches 1,964 metres long.

Planes landing at Paro International need to fly between a handful of houses around the mountain side. Planes sometimes dive only a few feet away from clipping roofs. The valleys around this airport often produce heavy winds burdening planes with turbulence.

Paro International Airport’s flights only undergo during the day and under the right meteorological conditions. Paro International is considered one of the most challenging airports in the world to land at.

Only eight pilots worldwide are certified to use this airport.

McMurdo Air Station, Antarctica

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In 1956, The United States established McMurdo Station as a research centre in their Antarctica program. This air station’s name originates from British naval officer Archibald McMurdo. In 1841, McMurdo and his crew were the first people to discover the area.

From 1962 to 1972, the site operated a nuclear power plant.

McMurdo station comprises Antarctica’s biggest community. The site contains a harbour, three airfields, and over 100 buildings. This Antarctic base is able to sustain 1,258 occupants.

As you can imagine, Antarctica doesn’t provide optimal conditions for flight. McMurdo Station averages below freezing temperatures every month. The runways are founded on ice and snow.

In 1971, the Juliet Delta 321 aircraft crashed near McMurdo Station. That plane remained buried in the snow for 15 years.

Matekane Air Strip, Lesotho

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The Lesotho government owns this miniature airport elevated 2,299 metres above sea-level.

Only light single engine aircraft can use the Matekane Air Strip. This African airstrip contains a short unpaved runway of 400 metres. Planes depend on the wind at this airstrip for lift. It’s possible for an aircraft to not ascend at the end of the runway.

The runway ends at a 600 metre cliff.

Pilots can still generate lift and fly after they drop down over the cliff above the Ohohbeng river.

The Matekane, and other Lesotho airstrips like it, help charities and doctors reach remote villages to provide goods and services.

Los Angeles International Airport, United States

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The city of Los Angeles owns the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Each letter is pronounced, “L-A-X.” Los Angeles World Airports operates LAX. No airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area and even California is busier than LAX. LAX is the third most frequented airport in the United States.

LAX began in 1928. Throughout its long history, LAX attained notoriety for its numerous accidents

In 1971, a midair crash killed 44 people.

In 1991, another collision ended the lives of 12 people.

On New Year’s Eve 1999, Al-Qaeda tried a terrorist attack on the airport. Authorities captured Ahmed Ressam with a bomb forty times stronger than a car bomb.

There’s more to LAX than just accidents or tragedies.

In 2012, the airport impacted the economy with $14.9 billion. LAX also made a social difference in the community with $133.9 thousand.

In 2016, LAX served 80.9 million people.

Gustaf III Airport, Saint Barthélemy

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The Gustaf III is a visually stunning airport in the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy. Mairie de St Barthélemy operates this tiny public airport. Gustaf III possesses a 650 metre concrete runway. Only small regional commercial airplanes can use this airport.

Due to its runway size, Gustaf III’s only permits planes carrying a maximum of 20 passengers. The runway resides at the beginning of a minor slope and ends at the beach.

Gustaf III Airport demands a steep landing. Pilots must steer over hilltop traffic. One online video shows tourist photographers positioned on hills and almost hit by an aircraft landing at Gustaf III.

Take-off on this runway has airplanes swooping over people relaxing on the beach.

The History Channel labelled Gustaf III the third most dangerous airport in the world.

King Fahd International Airport, Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation operates the King Fahd International Airport. This airport’s design began in 1976. Construction initiated in 1983. King Fahd International opened commercially in 1999.

The Guinness Book of World Records pronounced King Fahd International the largest airport at 780 square kilometres. This airport’s website reported the airport facility only operates 36.76 square kilometres of its land.

King Fahd International even contains a mosque that can accommodate 2,000 people. Developers constructed a special terminal in the airport for Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

King Fahd International holds two runways at identical lengths of 4,000 metres long.

In 2015, King Fahd International served 9,407,000 passengers.

Ketchikan Airport, Alaska

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The state of Alaska controls the Ketchikan International Airport. Ketchikan International opened in its current form in 1973. Local residents and aviation studies fought for its inauguration. Ketchikan International is the fifth busiest airport in Alaska.

This airport stations on Gravina island. There’s no roadways between this airport and Ketchikan district. A ferry transports passengers to and fro.

Ketchikan International spreads across 2,600 acres. The airport looms 27 metres above sea level. It possesses a 2,286 asphalt runway.

From January, 2010, to January, 2011, Ketchikan International recorded 15,959 aircraft operations.

Pilots positioned at this Alaskan airport suffer from extreme cold, high winds, and poor visibility when flying.

Copalis State Airport, United States

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The Washington Department of Transportation owns the Copalis State Airport. The Copalis State Airport operates on an ocean beach. It’s the only airport legalized to do so in Washington State.

Copalis State Airport occupies a modest 16 acres. Its 1,372 sand runway extends from the Copalis river along the beach to rocks on the otherside.

Since Copalis State Airport resides on a beach, it’s only 1 foot above sea-level.

In 2011, Copalis State Airport listed 200 civil aircraft operations. This averages to 16.6 flights per month.

Why are flights so infrequent at the Copalis State Airport?

High tide and other river and beach conditions prevent the Copalis State Airport’s use.

LaGuardia Airport, United States

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LaGuardia Airport, in northern Queens, is the third busiest New York airport. The City of New York owns this public airport. LaGuardia Airport spreads across 680 acres.

LaGuardia Airport’s originated as an Steinway family amusement park. In 1929, it became a private flying field. In 1939, the airport opened commercially as the New York Municipal Airport. In 1953, the City of New York renamed the airport after former mayor, Fiorello La Guardia.

LaGuardia Airport uses two runways measured 2,134 and 2,135 metres long.

This airport received poor public reviews for its archaic facility. Some surveys listed this airport as the worst in the United States. Throughout the years many passengers at LaGuardia experienced delays due to overcrowding.

In 2016, LaGuardia Airport welcomed 29.8 million passengers. That same year, LaGuardia underwent its first phase of renovations with costs estimated at 4 to 5.3 billion dollars.

Sandane Airport, Norway


Located in Norway, this regional airport serves Sandane, a municipality of Norway. This airport is considered dangerous because of its fairly strong winds during landing and take off. Added to that, the location of the runway is scary in and of itself because it lies between the fjords and mountains. Sandane Airport is one of the most dangerous airports in Europe.

Tufi Airport, Papua New Guinea


Situated in Papua New Guinea’s southeastern province Oro, Tufi Airport is known to be a fearful landing spot for even the most experienced pilots. In the photo, you can see that pilots need to properly gauge how low to fly before landing. If not, they’ll fly straight into the sea!

Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Maldives


The Maldives are a group of coral islands which have become a huge tourist attraction. However, getting to the Maldives involves landing at the island’s only airport, and it’s not exactly for the faint-hearted! Planes don’t have much space to maneuver when landing and taking off, so pilots have to be extremely precise when entering and leaving this airport. What’s more, because of its location, the island is the brunt of much torrential flooding. If you don’t have a strong heart, don’t come to the Maldives.

Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal


Being the only international airport in Nepal, Tribhuvan International Airport is no walk in the park. As evidenced in the photo above, the runway is usually kept in horrible conditions. Potholes and other road defects are scattered all over the landing strip, and visitors have all expressed their concern over the extremely bumpy landing. What’s more, the airport is known to experience the bad ends of adverse weather patterns. All who hope to journey via this airport better proceed at their own risk.

Chubu Centrair International Airport, Japan


Built on a man-made island, the Chubu Centrair International Airport is a first-class airport which caters specifically to those traveling to-and-from the Japanese region of Chubu. Because of the island’s size, the airport is relatively small, causing pilots to be extremely careful when landing. One false move and you’ll be sleeping with the fishes, literally. Thankfully, there have been no disasters at the airport, but that doesn’t make it be any less dangerous.

Bert Mooney, Montana


The Bert Mooney Airport is a fairly small airport surrounded by mountain ranges in Silver Bow County, Montana. Like most airports on this list, what makes this airport so dangerous is having to navigate the rough terrain surrounding it. But it doesn’t stop there: rules have been put in place to prevent pilots from flying into the airport if the temperature is too low. Apart from weather patterns and mountains, pilots also have to be on high alert for deer crossing the runway, although instances of that happening are few and far between.

Telluride Regional Airport, Colorado


Found in Colorado, this airport is no-joke. The airport is a little over 9000 feet above sea level. Looking at the picture above, you can tell that the airport paints a scary picture. Basically, on either end of the runway lay 1000 foot-cliffs. If a pilot doesn’t land the plane as planned, he or she may end up floating over the open air. What’s worse, when winter comes around, powerful vertical turbulence is known to affect the course of planes attempting to land. Not for the faint-hearted.

Mammoth Yosemite Airport, California


Flying into Mammoth Yosemite Airport in California takes being on a scary flight to a whole new level. With a few peaks of the Sierra Nevada surrounding the airport, pilots have to take serious precautionary measures when flying into the airport. Also, it tends to snow heavily near the airport. While skiing might be a fun sport for those who live in the area, for a pilot when he’s ready to land a plane, it’s not as much fun as he would want it to be.

Juneau Alaska Airport


Juneau Alaska Airport is yet another airport which is located in a mountainous region. Because of the terrain surrounding the airport, it is extremely dangerous for pilots to land. Despite efforts from the government to improve the airport since it became commercial in 1974, the airport’s location has been a major issue. Apart from the terrain, pilots also have to take adverse and unpredictable weather patterns into account. Caution is always advised to those hoping to pass through this airport.

Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport, Arizona


Enclosed by mountains, this airport is every travelers’ worst nightmare. Essentially, you need an extremely experienced pilot to manouver the plane from potential danger and bring his or her passengers to safety. Pilots also claim that the landing strip has “terrain”, a term which indicates that pilots need to climb at a particular height. Because of the airport’s dangerous reputation, it only recently attained commercial status. A rookie pilot might best stay clear from this airport.

Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, Colorado


The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport isn’t the only airport from Colorado to make our list. It’s a huge favorite for avid ski-lovers who hope to ride on the popular slopes in the area. Might be a great experience for tourists, but landing isn’t a walk in the park for pilots. The airport has a heavy cloud cover and mountains which surround it. Because of this, the airport creates a sense of claustrophobia which can be unsettling for any pilot. Not for the inexperienced pilots nor weak-hearted travelers.

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