If you love traveling but you also want to know the risks that you are exposing yourself to while visiting other places by plane, we are here to present to you five dangerous airports that you should avoid or, at least, know about before you book your next flight.
The Courchevel International Airport – France
As you can imagine, building an airport between the rocks of a mountain is not the best of ideas. However, this small aerodrome for helicopters and small airplanes is actually located within the mountainous area of Courchevel, a ski resort from the French Alps.
The airstrip has an 18.5% downward gradient that makes it terribly difficult for planes to take off. Also, the runway is very short, as it only measures 1,762 ft. As a plus, because of the terrain, there is currently no go-around procedure for landing here.
To make things even worse, the runway of this airport has no lighting aids and no instrument approach procedure. Because of this, landing here during foggy days is a nightmare for inexperienced pilots.
The Lukla Airport – Nepal
If you are a fan of mounting climbing and you intend to visit Mount Everest, you will probably find yourself having to reach the Lukla Airport in Nepal. Similarly to the previous airport that we have talked about, this location is dangerous because it is also situated between the mountains. On top of that, the runway is quite short, it has 1,729 ft., and the terminal is not that long.
What is more, given the geographical positioning of the airport, the weather here is often very bad, and the visibility is low. As a consequence, the airport is home to many unhappy incidents and crashes that sometimes end with casualties.
Besides, this aerodrome is surrounded by a chain-link fence, and armed police forces guard it on a daily basis.
The McMurdo Air Station – Antarctica
If you are not afraid of the cold and you are dreaming of visiting Antarctica, we suggest that you stay away from the McMurdo Air Station. One of the primary reasons why this airport is dangerous has to do with the fact that not many people travel to this area and, thus, the infrastructure here is bad, or, better said, missing.
Although the runway here is not necessarily short, it is covered in ice, which is a reason why many pilots have issues landing here. Even more so, the temperatures here are below freezing throughout the year and half the year is pitch black.
The Madeira Airport – Portugal
The thought of expanding an airport is, usually, a good idea. However, not the same can be said about the situation in the Madeira Airport, in Portugal. Here, in an attempt to boost the landing strips situated between the ocean and the cliffs, the designers decided to build the extra needed platforms on an artificial island.
However, as the time passed by, the columns that hold the artificial runway have withstood a series of shocks during the landings. Because of this, this airport has made it to our list!
The Barra Airport – Scotland
This list would have been half-done without us reminding you of the Barra Airport, in Scotland. The first thing that you have to know about this place is the fact that this is currently the only location in the entire world where the landing surface is a beach. In fact, if you happen to reach your destination during the tide, chances are that the plane won’t be able to land here.
The reason for this is connected to the fact that three of the runways of the airport are underwater during high tide. Given these conditions, the planes are only allowed to land here during a certain part of the day.
Additionally, there have been incidents when reflective strips were placed on the beach, and vehicle lights were used to mark the runway during the night so that the planes that have arrived after sunlight could land. However, if you are a fan of the beach, chances are that you will love this location!
All in all, before you make your next flight reservation, be sure to consider just how dangerous the airport that you have to depart from and/or land on is. This way, you can avoid the unexpected stress and anxiety caused by a bad or scary flying experience!