As people are getting more passionate about travel, air travel has become the most sought-after mode of travel with an airport in almost every corner of the world. From scenic beaches to snow-capped mountain tops and remote desert areas to congested cities, nothing beats the exhilarating experience of take off or landing on a difficult runway!
According to the majority of pilots, the most important and dangerous aspects of flying are take-off and landing. Adding to this, if any airport is situated on a beach, bridge or a cliff, then get ready for the journey of a lifetime.
Here is a compiled list of the 7 airports that offer the most interesting and scary flight take offs and landings in the world.
Get ready to feel the turbulence!
Agatti Aerodrome, India
India is home to several places that can boggle one’s mind. One such place is Agatti Aerodrome Airport situated on the southern end of the Agatti Island in the Territory of Lakshadweep Island. The Agatti Aerodrome Airport is the only airport on the whole island. The airport is encircled by the crystal clear blue waters of Indian Ocean. It has only one tiny runway that gives a thrilling experience to pilots as well as travellers while landings and takeoffs.
Tenzing Hillary Airport
The Tenzing Hillary Airport, also known as the Lukla Airport, is situated in the Lukla town in Nepal. It is a small airport situated at a height of 9,337 feet above the sea level. Surrounded by the mighty Himalayas, the airport is settled in a valley and often remains affected by high winds, dense clouds and bad weather with less visibility. In 2010, the airport was also rated as the most dangerous airport in the world by the History Channel. The airport’s runway is extremely small, just 500 meters long, which makes the landings more dangerous. The airport is quite popular, as Lukla is the starting point of Everest Base Camp Trek. It is named after legendary mountaineers Sir Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary (first men to climb Everest).
Paro Airport, Bhutan
Paro Airport is the only international airport in Bhutan which is also famous for its adventurous experiences. Situated in a deep valley near the banks of the river Paro Chu, the airport is girded by many high peaks ranging from 4000 to 5500 meters and that is why the airport is considered as one of the most challenging airports in the world. There are only eight pilots who are qualified to land at this Himalayan airport. Flights to and from this airport are allowed under visual meteorological conditions and operate during daylight only from dawn to dusk. For a safe landing, pilots have to navigate through a series of valleys (dotted with houses) and strong winds between sharp mountain peaks.
Svalbard Airport, Norway
Svalbard Airport is the northernmost airport in the world, located in the town of Longyearbyen in Norway. The airport is surrounded by icy cold sea and snow-capped mountains. It was also the site of the worst air crash in Norwegian history in which around 141 people died.
Ice Runway, Antarctica
The Ice Runway located in Antarctica is an airport used to deliver supplies to the McMurdo station. The main threat to this airport is the weather of Antarctica. The airport has one of the slipperiest landings in the world and the runway can only be used during the summer season. The runway is made up of white ice with a 40inch layer of compacted snow at the top to help cushion landings and takeoffs. Pilots are advised to try not to sink more than 10 inches into the ice.
Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador
This airport was one of the major airports in South America and it was also the busiest airport in Ecuador. It is situated in the valley in Quito and due to its location, the airport is prone to active volcanoes, fog and strong Tababela winds that blow between July and September. The airport was finally closed for being too dangerous.
Barra Airport, Scotland
Barra Airport is a short runway airport situated on the island of Barra in Scotland. It is the only airport in the world that uses a beach as the runway. The beach is divided into three runways in a triangle marked by permanent wooden poles. The flight times vary according to tides. The airport is located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and its landing is often considered as one among the world’s scariest landings because of its short runway. Out of three runways, one runway goes underwater and is off-limits during high tide.
With such adrenaline-pumping runways available around the world, which ones are going to be added to your bucket list?