To be a Pilot is 0ne of the most difficult professions in the world as it requires an insane amount of skill to maneuver an airplane through tricky takeoffs and landings. There isn’t always the availability of a smooth stretch of land for an incredible airport. Often times, there is just a jagged, narrow alleyway of a dangerous stretch of land from a cliff which serves as an airport. This brings into play the skill and expertise of the Pilots who have to make do with what’s been given to them as an airport. Here’s our list of some of the most dangerous airports in the world.
- Lukla Airport in Nepal
This is the airport which serves those arriving to visit the Mount Everest on cheap flights. What makes the Lukla Airport so dangerous is that there are no lights, short runway, very sparse electricity, and the absence of any kind of air traffic controllers. So Pilots are pretty much on their own when it comes to making a safe touchdown. Sometimes they need to maneuver large aircrafts which can be even trickier and landing in anything other than just the right conditions will be tough. Would you like to book last minute flights and see what it’s like to land at the Lukla Airport in Nepal?
- Gibraltar International Airport
Landing at the Gibraltar International Airport isn’t actually as hard but what makes the process tricky is the unique design of the structure. Intersecting the airport runway is the Winston Churchill Avenue main street which needs to be shut down every time an airplane need to land or takeoff. There is of course a stoplight on the roads to warn people ahead of airplane activity but there have been a number of close calls reported at the Gibraltar International Airport. Not only the Pilots, but even civilian drivers need to maintain proper protocol to avoid accidents here.
- McMurdo Air Station, Antarctica
Fewer travelers on business class flights or any other flights to Antarctica have resulted in there being a complete lack of good airport infrastructure. The runway isn’t short but what makes it dangerous is the fact that it’s made of slick, slippery ice. Temperatures are always below freezing point and due to the area being dark most of the time and there being a lack of proper lights, Pilots are trained to land and takeoff using night vision goggles. A little mistake will result in a bad crash as proven by the incident in 1970 when a C-121 crashed and its debris still remain buried under snow in a corner.
- Madeira Airport
The unique runway of Madeira Airport is placed between steep hills and the endless ocean seas. This is one of the few airports in the world where engineers built the runway with the intention to expand it. Over 180 sturdy columns hold up the dangerous landing strip and these are built to withstand serious shock loading whenever an airplane lands. The Pilots cannot afford to make even a minor mistake as it could lead to devastating consequences. With the ocean on both sides and the runway being literally on steep cliff, the Madeira Airport is truly one of the most dangerous airports in the world.
- Narsarsuaq Airport, Greenland
Arguably the most dangerous one on the list, the Narsarsuaq Airport in Greenland faces similar threats as the McMurdo Air Station in Antarctica, that of always being covered in ice. With freezing temperatures and constantly fluctuating turbulence, Pilots have a tough task of landing airplanes safely. The nearby active volcano doesn’t make matters any easy by erupting time and again, sending in large quantities of ash into the atmosphere which clouds the already foggy view which Pilots have to adjust with. Apart from playing havoc with the view, the volcanic ash also carries the tendency to stall and destroy airplane engines.