Most Dangerous Airports Around The World

Published on September 23, 2022
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These airports mentioned below are some of the most dangerous airports in the world. Not only were they structured in such a way that made landing and taking off of the aircraft difficult. However, they were the very cause of death too. Due to these reasons, the airports were either re-designed or closed for a lifetime. Below you will find a list of airports from different parts of the world with the reasons why they had to shut down.

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Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

The top on the list of the most dangerous airports list will be none other than the Kai Tak Airport of Hong Kong. This airport was used from 1924 to 1997. Whereas, the airport had to shut down in 1997 because of many accidents that occurred during its time. Moreover, the pilots were facing a lot of difficulty in landing their aircraft. On the other hand, the Kai Tak airport lacked a bailout area. Unlike most airports, pilots have a chance of landing their planes when in danger at around 400 feet. They can make a second try too. However, for Kai Tak airport the landing was such a risk and quite impossible too that pilots had to take some special training for using their runway area.

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More about-Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

In the 64 years of its operation, the Kai Tak airport was shockingly the cause of 15 huge incidents. In addition to this, the most life-taking incident was in 1964, it was when an American Military Aircraft was stuck at a sea wall just after liftoff. This resulted in the crashing of the aircraft into the sea and the ending of 72 lives. Next was the incident that took place in 1994, this incident wasn’t aired to the audience. Whereas, it was on an international flight when the plane lost its stability while landing in extremely windy weather. Even when the landing was unstable the pilot couldn’t re-attempt to make a landing. This resulted in the plan to drop into Hong Kong’s harbor.

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Toncontin International Airport, Honduras

No matter how skilled or experienced you are, you are going to feel fearful while landing the plan. This is not it, the landing at Toncontin International Airport required unique training. Among, the airports that allow international plans to land on their platform this airport has the tiniest runway. The pilots can either make a quick and on-the-spot landing or risk lives on the way. That is because the location of the airport is in a place where there is countryside. And the tiny runway has only a 64 feet cliff. Now we can understand the reason why the pilots are frightened by this airport.

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More about- Toncontin International Airport, Honduras

It was in 2007, that a horrific incident took place. Where the pilot’s landing wasn’t successful in the first attempt so he informed the passengers that he was about to make a second attempt. That is when things go wrong and a strong wind blew their way causing the plane instability and then it touched the cliff and hit a crowded street. Unfortunately, four people on the plane and three people on the street lost their lives in this incident. There was another incident that took place before this which was in 1997, it caused four lives. This was the last incident before the airport thought of taking strict action.

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Gustaf III Airport, St Barths

The gorgeous island of St Barths is one of a kind place on earth. You will find many wealthy and well-known people visiting this place. Especially, because they have made it their holiday destination. Actors like Simon Cowell and Jon Bon Jovi have been spotted there. Moreover, the Island is famous for its surreal beaches, outclass resorts, fashion shops and not to forget for their most threatening airport. This being said, the airport runway is so small that it is estimated to be only 2,200 feet including the 140 feet hill. Standing at the end of their most visited beach. Due to its tiny runway area, the country only allows small aircraft to make a landing.

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More about- Gustaf III Airport, St Barths

Those aircraft have around twenty-five people in them. Further, for the safety of the public and tourists. They are suggested to not take sunbathe on the beach area where the aircraft passes meters away from their heads. However, this warning goes unfollowed by the people as they enjoy their time laying on the beach. Things get more challenging as while the landing the mountains are on the four sides of the airport. This pressures the pilots to descend the plane quickly. Sadly, in 2012 a small aircraft hit a cliff while it was making a risky landing.

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Gibraltar International Airport, UK

The landing at Gibraltar International Airport is very difficult due to its weather and heavy winds. In addition to this, things get more fearful because of the location of the airport. The most challenging part for the pilots is to make a spacious landing, to keep their passengers safe. The weather condition on the island is so extreme that the turbulence rate is high. Moreover, the pilots can’t even make a second attempt due to these factors. To make things more challenging Britain and Spain argue the air place as a small part of the runway belongs to Spain’s area. So pilots have to very carefully make the landings to not cross the “no-fly” area that is restricted by the Spanish government.

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More about- Gibraltar International Airport, UK

This is not it; things get more complicated as the four-lane highway is in the middle of the runway area. There are barriers specially placed on the highway which go up when there is a landing of a plane. Dangerously, people still go ahead with coming out of their cars just to get some clicks of the scene. Putting their lives at stake and ignoring the fact that they are standing right in the middle of the busy runway.

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Gisborne Airport, New Zealand

The Gisborne city of New Zealand is famous for the fact that it was the first city to see the sun. The east side of the country is known for the splendid sunsets too. Moreover, the city has some of the best parks surrounded by beautiful mountains, fishing spots, and not to forget their yummiest wine. People from all around the world come to Gisborne to enjoy the perks it has for them. On the other hand, thrill seekers only like to travel to this city for getting the most bizarre experience. Did you know that there is a running railway in the middle of the runway?

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More about- Gisborne Airport, New Zealand

Nevertheless, the strategy to avoid any incidents they have made some time settings. The coordination of the time when the train has to pass and when the plane has to land needs to be discussed thoroughly. Despite this, the coordination at times the train and aircraft come very close to each other. This scene is indeed thrilling to the eye. The management of this very task is risky, there are times when the train has to stop to make way for the plane to pass. Surprisingly, there hasn’t been any accident yet. And we only hope that it stays this way.

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Paro Airport, Bhutan

The Paro Airport in Bhutan is located at a sea level of around 1.6 miles. It is in the Himalayan mountains. The place where every risk-taker and climber goes to. Nevertheless, the people who live in those mountain areas are habitual of the aircraft coming very close to their houses. The peaks of the mountains are about seventeen thousand feet high. This allows the pilots to only see the little part of the land before landing their aircraft. Unfortunately, there is no alert system to warn pilots if they are about to crash.

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More about- Paro Airport, Bhutan

The pilots have to make the landings solely on their skills and assumptions. Which they successfully do very well. Moreover, here’s a little tip for you. Whenever traveling to this part of the world, make sure you have a strong immune system as this will be a help while you are landing. As the runway is spread out in a valley that gives you serious nausea. Nonetheless, if you are adventurous then the view you might get from the airplane window seat is worth it.

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Narsarsuaq Airport, Greenland

The Narsarsuaq Airport is from the time of World War Two. The area is mostly used for transferring goods by the public. The shocking thing about the airport is that its runways are usually covered with ice. This is because the temperature in Greenland can drop to -21 degrees Celsius in the winter season. Moreover, it’s not easy to be landing the aircraft on this runway due to its frozen runway. A lot of courage is required for someone to do this. In addition to this, the heavy winds make it more challenging to make a landing. The weather along with the idea of volcanoes activating near the runway area is another worry. Sadly, an incident that last occurred was in 2001 when a passenger plane crashed and four people lost their lives.

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Lukla Airport, Nepal

The ideal location of the Lukla Airport attracts most people. It is in the heart of the Himalayas. Did you know, that the position at which the Airport is, nine-thousand feet? This makes it the highest airport in the world. Good news for the adventurous people out there as this is the only airport in the area if you have traveled all the way to climb Mount Everest. So buckle up for the adventure.  Moreover, the tiny runway area slop drops into the valley from one end. This makes the landing very difficult for the pilot. If the pilot doesn’t measure the landing too well then the aircraft can easily crash.

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More about- Lukla Airport, Nepal

Things get worse when the weather and height both become a challenge at the same time for the pilot. In the daytime, the skies are clear however turbulence occurs. On the other hand, in the evenings it becomes cloudy so it gets hard to see. The airport faces many storms too. It is strictly prohibited for new pilots to fly in these areas as they can surely cause an accident. This adds to why the airport is called the most dangerous.

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Barra International Airport, Scotland

For those people who love beaches. Here is the perfect break for you. If you are traveling from the Barra International Airport. You will see that you can already be feeling the beach as the airport is on the edge of the sandy beach. This being said, the airport is so close to the beach that when it is stormy the tides come up. Due to this, it is important to keep an eye on the weather forecast. Furthermore, the flights are only allowed to land during the daytime.

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More about- Barra International Airport, Scotland

The airport is also a service provider for Barra island which is located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Where the population being of only two thousand people. Surprisingly, the airport beach runway is also used as a spot for tourists and the general public to take a stroll at the bay. For the safety of their well-being, the plane does not hit them. They keep a close eye on the “windsock”. It is a fabric-like tube that is fixed to the pole and it shows the direction and speed of the wind.

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San Diego International Airport, USA

One of the most dangerous Airports in The USA is none other than San Diego International Airport. It is not only located in the middle of downtown. But also many huge mountains. Landing and taking off get extremely difficult when strong winds are blowing in the area. Moreover, the air space is always occupied by more than fifty-five planes landing and taking off every hour. This all is done using a single runway. Nevertheless, air traffic controllers are always under pressure because only one runway is used for so many aircraft. Their responsibility to keep the people save who are on the planes is very pressurizing.

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More about- San Diego International Airport, USA

As time passes, the city is building heightened towers which adds up the challenge of making a safe landing for the pilots more difficult. Not only this, the San Diego Airport has resulted in many incidents in the past. One did happen in 1977 when a plane with 129 passengers and six crew members crashed with an under-trained pilot flying an aircraft. Sadly, the plane dropped to the ground which took every single person’s life. In addition, to this six other people on the ground lost their lives. This is the worst accident in the history of California. Due to this accident, the country passed out a law stating that small aircraft are not allowed to fly in the air space where international planes are flying.

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Courchevel Airport, France

People are unaware of the risk they take when they travel to the French Alps for their winter break. The only way to reach their holiday destination is by Courchevel Airport. Whereas, Courchevel city gets thousands of people to come and ski on the slopes that are almost touching the runway area of the airport. Just like many other airports which are built in areas that have extreme snowy weather. This airport gets risky while the icy weather. And because of this, flying aircraft becomes difficult.

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More about- Courchevel Airport, France

The small runways with little land space make landing even more challenging. In nice weather, the gradient of 18.6 percent is down the line. However, on a very cold day, the landing becomes nearly impossible. Minor fog can even result in complete invisibility for the pilots. To top it up, the airport lacks lighting and windsocks too. Unlike, other airports where the pilots can make a second attempt at landing. The Courchevel Airport’s location makes it impossible for the pilots to do even that.

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Wellington International Airport, New Zealand

Did you know the filming of most of the movies is done in New Zealand? The main reason behind this is that the place is extremely beautiful for its nature. The greenery and huge mountains are all-in-all experiences for the tourists. Series like Games Of Thrones and Lord Of The Rings are some among other movies and shows which are filmed there. On the other hand, it is a challenge to be traveling to Wellington Airport. Brace yourself up for the journey. This being said, the airport has such a small runway at only 1937m that it has to limit the planes of specific sizes to travel there. Additionally, the runway ends straight into the water.

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More about- Wellington International Airport, New Zealand

The people who travel here not only need to be brave but risk-takers too. As the passengers get to fly above the big mountains and below is the sea. All the while doubting how are they going to make it to the land. Irrespective of the big mountains, and extremely cold weather it is shocking how fewer incidents have taken place. Furthermore, back in 1964, there was an incident where a plane lost control while making a landing and passed through a busy street, and then in 1956 where there was an air show happening. Three planes lost control due to the heavy winds.

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John Wayne Airport, USA

Here is a tip for those who ever want to travel by the John Wayne Airport. Be Brave! Your taking off from the ground of the airport will indeed need a lot of courage. This is because of the fact the planes go over the head of the people living in the Californian people of New Beach. In addition to this people back in 1986 placed a complaint regarding the noise that the planes make while landing and their household gets disturbed due to the noise pollution. After this, the law of using “noise abatement” was instructed to be used by the pilots before taking off.

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More about- John Wayne Airport, USA

For those who don’t know the meaning of this, it is to shut the engines intentionally so that the noise isn’t produced. Imagine you know knowing this while taking off next time. Your condition might be familiar to the person entirely left in the doctor’s hand. Not only this, firstly you will feel your stomach dropping just like in any other take-off. Next, you will hear the engine turning down and the aircraft’s wing also almost touches the ground. This very experience leaves the passengers shaken even though a warning is given beforehand. Thankfully, after a while, the passengers begin to relax when the plane passes by the noise-restricted area.

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Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Marteen

The location alone is an attraction for many beach lovers. The Princess Juliana International Airport is located just a few meters away from the local beach. The planes that fly to or from the runway are just some distance away from the heads of the sunbathers. This very experience has the thrill-takers come and have a blast of a time at the beach. Where they get to enjoy the beach along with the planes going above their heads. Moreover, there isn’t much separation between the airport’s runway and the beach. The only thing separating them is a fence. On the other hand, the risk-takes get to hold to the wire and experience the planes taking off and landing. The wind produced while taking off gives out such a force that the people clinging to the fence almost get blown away.

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More about- Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Marteen

No matter how fun it all sounds. Unfortunately, there have been incidents in the past. Once a woman lost her life because of the heavy winds. Next was a young girl bashing into a hard rock wall where she almost lost her life. To keep away from any more incidents, the government has placed many signs and boards. Despite this, the tourists love to sunbathe on the beach as well as stand near the fences separating the beach and the runway. For the thrilling experience alone.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, Portugal

We can’t just miss this airport. Mainly because it is one of the most dangerous airports in the world. Next is its ideal location. The Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport is located right in the middle of the sea and mountains. The runway is designed in a different pattern. In addition to this, the winds blowing from both sides even make the landing difficult. If this is not it, the pilots have to make a drastic turn of about 120 degrees while making a landing. Previously, the runway area was 5500 meters long. This caused two major incidents back in 1976. The first one was when a plane with 165 passengers wasn’t able to stop and so it killed about 132 people.

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More about- Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, Portugal

The next one was just two months apart in the same year. When an aircraft crashed right into the sea resulting in the killing of 37 people on board. Given this, the airport decided to expand its runway area to 9100 meters. As the runway was already touching the sea so the new expansion is right into the ocean now. The only thing supporting it is the concrete. However, it is extremely frightening to make a landing there now as the pilot needs to be very careful with his work. One meter to the right or left side can result in the plane dropping into the water.

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Congonhas Airport, Brazil

Sao Paulo is a huge and beautiful place. This is the reason why it has four airports. Among those airports, the smallest is the Congonhas airport. Furthermore, this airport has a very risky landing area. That is because the runway is very slippery when the weather is rainy. Over the years, people have been afraid of any accident that could occur. However, their fears turned into a reality in 2007. The summer of 2007 Is undoubtedly a very devastating day in Brazil. The plane which was carrying around 186 passengers onboard on a rainy day crashed into a warehouse.

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More about- Congonhas Airport, Brazil

After it was unable to land on the slippery runway. Sadly, every person on the plane including thirteen people working in the warehouse got killed. This is not it, before this date, a smaller accident took place when two aircraft slipped on the runway and caused minor damage. Due to these incidents, the aviation department made the runway safer by including a drainage system in the area. Moreover, they even passed a rule to not allow big airplanes to use the runway.

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Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica

It will come to you as a shock that a place as cold as Antarctica even has an airport. Did you know that Antarctica has the lowest temperature at -48 degrees Celsius? And the runway is used for experiments by scientists and as the US Military ground. Moreover, the runway of the airport is made on icy ground which makes the landing very difficult. The location is Ross Island which is designed beside the frozen sea. However, the airport is closed down when the weather is getting warmer. This is because of the ice melting that could result in accidents. It is hard for pilots to make a landing while loaded with heavy materials.

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More about- Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica

They have to be careful, that they do not get sunk into the eleven-inch ice. Additionally, there are days in Antarctica when there are 24 hours of darkness including no artificial light too. This nearly makes it impossible for the pilot to make a landing. They have to depend on their skills at this point. Only very qualified and experienced pilots can make the landing on this runway. Luckily, there haven’t been any incidents in the Sea Ice Runway. There was an incident in 1961 where a United States Navy aircraft crashed into the water. However, there was no life lost during the accident. Thankfully, the aircraft when dropped into the water started to sink which made the person come out alive.

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Kansai International Airport, Japan

Did you know Japan has a population of around 2.7 million people? This being said, Osaka city of Japan is Indeed very big. So the land is mostly occupied by the people and their accommodations. Due to this, the government had to make their airport on an artificial island. For anyone who fears water, this airport is not for them. Furthermore, the design of the airport was done by Renzo Piano who is an Italian architect. He is a brilliant architect who knows what he is doing. Moreover, he took up the risk of designing this runway. The runway is located sixteen feet above the sea. This, however, is dangerous for the pilots while making a landing in harsh weather conditions.

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More about- Kansai International Airport, Japan

Not only this, but when the weather is unpredictable then the area has a higher chance of getting an earthquake. If the earthquake ever occurs then many lives can be lost, in addition to the airport sinking. On the other hand, if u want to ever experience traveling to this airport then you must get ready to move now as the scientists are saying that the airport could be destroyed in the next fifty-five years because of the water level rising.

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