These airports often present challenges because of their geographic location or because of their design, because of these issues, maneuvering planes can be problematic for many of the pilots who fly to these locations. Because of the challenges of taking off and landing, these are considered to be the most dangerous airports in the world.
Gibraltar International Airport
If you look at this airport in this photograph, you may not be able to say what makes it so dangerous. Even if you don’t see a mountain or a short runway, the Gibraltar airport crosses the busiest street in the area. Due to its design, the traffic along Winston Churchill Avenue is stopped when planes land in order to avoid accidents.
Svalbard Airport, Norway
Svalbard Airport is the northernmost airport in the world which has frequent scheduled flights. This airport was originally constructed during second World War and wasn’t used for public flights until 1959. Surprisingly, this airport handles just over 154 thousand passengers each year.
Valid from October 1, Norway’s Ministry of Transport and Communication has decided to amend the status of Svalbard Airport Longyear from international to national, the Civil Aviation Authority Norway reports.
«Svalbard airport is not in line with international guidelines for international airports,» the ministry argues.
Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong
With so many buildings north of the runway, landings required a lot of work from the pilots. Due to the dangerous location of the airport, it was eventually closed in 1925 and replaced by Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, a small island west of Hong Kong.
This airport has one of the shortest commercial runways in the world at just 4metersres (1,312 ft) and at both ends of the runway, you’ll find steep cliffs that drop off into the sea. Because of the length, jetliners aren’t allowed to land here, but it is open to smaller propeller aircraft.
Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten
If you have heard about this airport, or at least you might have seen some pictures of a jet landing right over the touristy Maho Beach. The Princess Juliana Airport was initially built for smaller planes but has now grown to become the second busiest airport in the Eastern Caribbean. If you visit the beach sitting behind the runway, you might find it difficult to simply sit and enjoy it because of high winds and sand that gets blown around by planes on takeoff and landing.
Pilots who land at this airport also have to face a runway which is barely long enough for larger planes and due to surrounding terrain, pilots are forced to make a left or a right turn shortly after takeoff to avoid the mountains. Fortunately though, even though this airport was ranked the 4th most dangerous airport in the world, there have so far been no recorded accidents
Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand
This airport, called Thai by locals serves the greater area of Bangkok is the oldest operating airport in Asia, and one one of the oldest international airports in the world. We aren’t sure why, but someone probably thought a golf course between the runways was a good idea, so they built it. The golf course does of-course have some rule: no weapons and no pictures
LaGuardia Airport in New York
This airport has been compared to third world airports by the past US Vice President, Joe Biden. Fortunately, the airport has been approved for $3.6 Billion worth of upgrades to make it more modern. This airport is also in very close proximity to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Liberty Airport which also have high volumes of airplanes taking off and landing and any point of the day. For pilots flying to this airport, it requires a high level of precision.
Bangda Airport, China
The Bangda Airport is located in the Chamdo district of China. The elevation for this airport is 4334 meters above sea level which makes it the highest airport in the world. Due to lower air density, at the high altitude, this airport is equipped with a 4334 m runway to allow aircraft to takeoff and land at higher speeds.