On the ice, in the canyons, among cliffs and mountains: the land is not always easy and to be on board, in these cases, requires a lot of courage. From the Caribbean to Malaysia to the South Pole, here is the unknown routes with really scary landing strips.
PRINCESS JULIANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – SAINT MARTEEN (CARRIBEAN)
The runway is so short that airplanes should drop to very low altitudes well before landing, flying at about 10-20 meters high over the heads of sunbathers.
TENZING-HILLARY AIRPORT – LUKLA (NEPAL)
If you think that climbing Mount Everest is for braves, it is because you have never tried to land in Lukla. Short track, high mountains, the weather does not always clear – we are at 2,860 meters above sea level – makes this track one of the scariest in the world.
AIRPORT OF SAO PAULO – BRAZIL
The track of Congonhas Airport, in the city center, is certainly not among the easiest in the world: the pilots, before landing, must be careful and avoid 45 obstacles among buildings, trees, and shopping centers. In 2007, a plane came out of the track and crashed against a hangar: 199 victims.
HECHI AIRPORT – CHINA
Inaugurated last August, and with its 677 meters of altitude, is the highest airport in the Guangxi region. Being a mountainous area, 60 hills were leveled to build it. There is no room for pilot error: the end of the track there is a sheer drop of a thousand feet.
BARRA – SCOTLAND
In this small Hebridean island, the landing is directly on the beach. Waves and high tide, then, are the main risk for pilots, who must be very careful not to end up bogged down.
COURCHEVEL AIRPORT – FRANCE
Sunday trip to the French Alps? If you have a private plane you can land in this small airport clutching the side of a cliff at 2,006 meters above sea level. It has a very short runway, and even uphill, ending with a truly terrifying vertical drop. Famous for the Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies”.
JUANCHO E. YRAUSQUIN AIRPORT – SABA (CARIBBEAN)
Landing on this Caribbean island is not for everyone. The track is only 400 meters long. On one side the hills, on the other towering cliffs.
TONCONTIN AIRPORT – HONDURAS
The most dangerous and difficult landing in the world is the one in Tegucigalpa. Very short runway and mountains around that put to the test even the most experienced pilots.
ICE RUNWAY – SOUTH POLE
It is not the position of the track – and even the fact that instead of asphalt there is ice – making it complicated land on the Ice Runway, used to bring supplies to employees of McMurdo Station. Risky is the weather conditions, together with the possibility that the weight of the airplane breaks the ice.
GUSTAF III AIRPORT – ST. BARTH (CARIBBEAN)
To land here pilots must follow a particular course. It is not easy to bring down the plane on a runway so short. Suffice to say that at take-off you fly a few meters over the heads of sunbathers.
MATEKANE AIR STRIP – LESOTHO
The track is 416 meters long, around there are mountains that reach 2,303 meters in height. It is not easy to land in this canyon. That’s why Tom Clator, experienced pilot in these areas, recommends: “Better to fly downwind: the mountains of Lesotho are harder than pilots”.
PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – BHUTAN
Who’s afraid of flying perhaps should not land in this airport of Bhutan, in the middle of the Himalayas. Before you fly between mountains and valleys, then descend on this small track, in the midst of so many homes, and often with significant wind gusts. From 2009 to date are only ten pilots authorized to perform these maneuvers.
SANGSTER AIRPORT – JAMAICA
It seems to land on the beach when you arrive in Montego Bay. The track (with the mainland) in fact, appears only at last. A show for the bathers on the beach that see the colossal air creatures above their heads.
GILGIT AIRPORT – PAKISTAN
The runway of this airport is so short that can not even land the Boeing. Currently, they are operating on this route the ATR-42.
TIOMAN ISLAND AIRPORT – MALAYSIA
You want to relax on this beautiful Malaysian island? Prepare for landing, it is not for the faint of heart. Straight in the direction of a mountain, turn 90 degrees and down on one of the shortest strips in the world.
AIRPORT OF GIBRALTAR – UNITED KINGDOM
Other than open eyes: those landing to Gibraltar airport find themselves in the middle between the city and a great mountain. Not only, being 1,800 meters long, but the trail also intersects with Winston Churchill Avenue, the busiest street of Gibraltar, which is closed every time a plane lands or takes off.
LUGANO AIRPORT – SWITZERLAND
Last year has been lengthened to 1,420 meters long (before was 1,350) but that of Lugano remains one of the most incredible runaways in the world. For instrument flight, in particular, landing procedures are permitted only to crews owning a particular qualification.
CHITRAL AIRPORT – PAKISTAN
Who landed here tell that it was a thrill. The track of Chitral, bordering Afghanistan, as well as short is also surrounded by very high mountains.
Are you scared about flying? Have you ever experienced a difficult landing or even an emergency landing? Comment below!