Let’s face it: traveling can be quite stressful at times. It’s not only plotting logistics and making sure everything is in order; many times, it’s the getting there that’s the most nerve-wracking, especially if you have a fear of flying. Not all fears of flying are unjustified. As you’ll soon see, some of these destinations have the worst airport runways ever! If you are one of the many people who have a flying phobia, you’ll want to stay away from these 25 Most Dangerous Airport Runways!
1 Cleveland Hopkins International, USA
Technically there’s nothing wrong with the location or construction of this airport, but the dangers in this case have to do with the irresponsible staff working there. A controller working an overnight shift was once suspended for watching a DVD while he was supposed to be directing air traffic. As if that weren’t bad enough for the airport’s reputation, a supervisor once complained about the controllers on night shifts routinely taking naps during breaks and playing electronic games when traffic was light.
2 Wellington International Airport, New Zealand
Landings in this airport can be extremely hazardous due to having only one very short runway that begins and ends in crystal blue waters. Despite being a very dangerous place to land a plane, its scenic rare beauty makes it one of the most beautiful airports in the world.
3 Los Angeles International, USA
According to Travel + Leisure, Los Angeles International is the venue for what the FAA calls an “ongoing intensive outreach program” to educate pilots, controllers, and vehicle operators on the best practices, proper procedures, situational awareness, and other aspects of runway safety. Additionally, Los Angeles International has been ranked multiple times throughout the years as the most dangerous airport in the US.
4 San Diego International Airport, United States
Similar to LAX, San Diego International Airport is also considered to be one of the busiest commercial airports in the world. Entrance to the airport is blocked on the south and east side due to the mountains, and even further south lies the border of Mexico. This means that planes have to both take off and enter on the west side, barely just passing by each other.
5 Agatti Aerodrome, Lakshadweep, India
This airport is surrounded by nothing except the Indian Ocean, which makes you wonder what would happen if something went wrong during landing or if the pilot needed more space to take off. The 4,000-foot-long Agatti Aerodrome is so arbitrary and small that it looks like a piece of a larger runway that was lost at sea somehow. Because of the danger the short runway presents, there have been many suggestions and proposals to extend it. In the meantime, flights continue to operate normally since this airport is the only one in Lakshadweep, an Indian Union Territory consisting of thirty-six gorgeous exotic islands.
6 Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, USA
In this case, we may be playing it a bit safe here since this airport is nowhere near as dangerous as the rest on this list, but something really macabre and bizarre happens here. If you ever find yourself taxiing along Runway 10 at Savannah/Hilton Head, you may catch a glimpse of something so spooky that it will definitely give you the chills. Embedded in Runway 10’s tarmac you will find a pair of grave markers that belong to the previous landowners where the airport now sits; it was their wish to be buried there.
7 Narsarsuaq Airport, Greenland
Landing at this naturally beautiful and remote airport can either be an amazing or horrific experience. For the pilots, it is undoubtedly a bit of a nightmarish experience since landing there involves flying up a fjord while the threat of severe turbulence and wind shear makes things even more dangerous.
8 Kansai International Airport, Japan
Kansai’s artificial island is 2.5 miles long and 1.6 miles wide, which is so large that it’s rumored to be visible from space. From an engineering point of view, the airport there is one of the most impressive in the world; unfortunately, the frequent earthquakes, powerful cyclones, and unstable seabed make this engineering masterpiece one of the most dangerous airports as well.
9 Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand
This is a “deceiving” airport where at first you see nothing unusual about it. However, if you pay closer attention, you’ll notice the weirdest thing ever: right in the middle of the two runways, someone had the brilliant idea to create an eighteen-hole golf course. That makes this airport not only a dangerous place for golfers, but one of the most bizarre airports out there as well.
10 Paro Airport, Bhutan
The fact that only eight pilots out of thousands worldwide are qualified to land here should tell you how risky landing at this Himalayan airport truly is. If you’re not impressed by the aforementioned fact, you might be impressed learning that Paro Airport is 1.5 miles above sea level and surrounded by sharp peaks of up to 18,000 feet, while the runway is just 6,500 feet long.
It’s rumored that the passengers flying to this tiny airport, which is literally nestled among the steep mountains of the Himalayas, usually take anti-anxiety meds before the flight to steady their nerves.