Check out this list of the World’s Scariest Airports for take-off and landing. Highlights include limited visibility landings, inconveniently placed volcanoes, and runways formed when the tide goes out.
1. Barra Airport, Barra, Scotland
Highlight: It’s always a beach landing and runways form when the tide goes out.
2. Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar
Highlight: The main road to Spain intersects the runway.
3. Toncontin International Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Highlight: A 45-degree bank and quick drop in altitude.
4. Nantucket Memorial Airport, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Highlight: Fog often forces pilots to rely solely on instruments.
5. Paro Airport, Paro, Bhutan
Highlight: Mountainous terrain means every flight is an aeronautical feat.
6. Yeager Airport, Charleston, West Virginia
Highlight: Located on a flattened mountaintop, so overshooting the runway means dropping over a cliff.
7. La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Highlight: A startling approach weaves through volcanoes and mountains.
8. LaGuardia Airport, New York City, New York
Highlight: Crowded airspace (JFK/Newark are nearby) and main runways extend over water.
9. Wellington International Airport, Wellington, New Zealand
Highlight: Windy and the northern approach threads local hills and trolley lines.
10. John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana, California
Highlight: Noise ordinances force pilots to quickly reduce throttle on takeoff.
“Naturally there are numerous safety regulations in place to ensure these commercial airports remain perfectly safe,” said Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel. “However, in my personal experience and from talking with several pilots we interviewed, these airports top the list of scariest take-offs and landings with mountains that appear out of nowhere, volcanoes and very low visibility – among others. If you’re looking for a rush, you are sure to get one.”
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