Travelling by plane is actually a far safer mode of transportation than by vehicle. Most airports are generally safe and free of hazardous weather and geographic conditions that complicate take offs and landings. However, there are a number of airports that increase the danger to their passengers and have developed a reputation as being more dangerous than most.
What follows are the five most dangerous airports in the world in terms of the number of accidents, weather conditions, geography and other factors. Plus, there is a bonus airfield that makes the list even though it mostly is not used by the general public.
1) Lukla Airport
Located in Nepal, this particular airport is regarded as the most dangerous in the world. This is due to a number of factors;
– Short runway
– Frequent bad weather
– High altitude
– Mountain on one side, cliff on the other
The airport, which was build by Sir Edmond Hilary, has suffered a number of fatal crashes over the decades it has been in use.
2) Barra International Airport
Located along a stretch of beach in Scotland, this airport features runways that are literally made of sand and open to the public. This makes landings rather treacherous, especially during high tide and poor weather conditions. Plus, the airport offers little in the way of instruments or facilities to help pilots land or take off. In fact, taking off at night requires the use of car headlights to help illuminate the runway.
3) Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport
Located on Saba Island in the Netherlands Antilles, this is certainly one of the scariest airports to land or take off in the world, even though the number of accidents is relatively small. This is because the airport itself is merely a small strip of a paved surface alongside a steep hill that slopes downward towards the ocean. There is very little room for error in taking off or landing from this particular airfield.
4) Gibraltar Airport
The famed “Rock of Gibraltar” is certainly a stirring sight. However, the compact nature of the city requires that the main airport runway double as the main thoroughfare through the city as well. When a plane approaches the point where it intersects with the roadway, railroad-type gates come down to prevent cars from passing until the plane itself has passed. Even though Gibraltar has one of the busiest airports in the list of the most dangerous, there has never been a major accident that has occurred.
5) Gustaf III Airport
Located in the French Caribbean, this particular airport has a less than full size runway with limitations on both sides. Upon the approach, the plane must pass over a public road and avoid the cars that may be travelling on it and the end of the runway is literally the ocean. This means that the pilot must be very precise in hitting the right mark correctly to avoid an accident.
Bonus: The Ice Runway
Located in Antarctica, this particular runway is made of smooth ice. The advantage is that the runway itself is generally long and wide enough to handle most planes. Unfortunately, the bad weather conditions that exist during the winter make using the runway problematic to say the least. It doesn’t get much better in the summer when the ice thins and threatens to collapse if the aircraft is too heavy. Surrounding the airfield is deep snow where many planes have been stuck over the years.