Are you flying again this summer to a sunny destination? An excellent and easy way of travelling and also the most secure. Safe? After seeing these runways, you think twice about that. Passengers sometimes thank the pilot with applause after a safe landing. Usually, however, that is a routine job. This is not the case with the following destinations, and you have every right to break your hands.
1) Paro Airport (Bhutan)
Paro Airport in Bhutan lies at an altitude of 2236 meters and is surrounded by more than 5000 meters high Himalayan peaks. Manoeuvring between these mountains, avoiding houses and taking into account the treacherous wind, the pilots have to bring their aircraft to a halt on a 1986-meter long runway. It is not for nothing that only specially trained captains may land here. And Bhutan has built new airports in recent years (including in Yomgphula, Gelephu, and Yakar).
2) Princess Juliana International Airport (Sint Maarten)
A landing at Princess Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten does not go unnoticed by the sun worshipers on the adjoining beach. Because of the short length of the runway (2300 meters), the planes skim over the tourists on Maho Beach to land in time. Beachgoers, therefore, would be wise to bring earplugs. This surreal and dangerous spectacle led to a fatal accident once. Since the end of October 2016, KLM has stopped landing here with the Boeing 747-400, but with the smaller Airbus A330-200, which is a little less low over Maho Beach.
3) Tenzing-Hillary Airport (Nepal)
This small airport near Lukla in Nepal is the gateway to Mount Everest and therefore very popular with mountaineers. With most of them, the adrenalin rushes through the body at the landing: 2860 meters high on a track of a few hundred meters, between a mountain slope and an abyss. This airport is therefore only suitable for helicopters and aircraft that can quickly rise and land.
4) Gibraltar Airport (Gibraltar)
The runway of Gibraltar Airport runs almost along the border with Spain. The most bizarre, however, is that the road that connects Gibraltar and Spain crosses the runway. Traffic is therefore always stopped when an aircraft lands or takes off. The only 1,800 meters long runway, partly extended above the sea, does not make it easier for the pilots.
5) Maketane Air Strip (Lesotho)
Pic Credits : http://wikimapia.org/24615071/Matekane-Airport
The runway in Lesotho is perhaps the most terrifying in the world. Not so much the height (2300 meters) or the extremely short length (400 meters!) Is a nightmare for nerves, especially the 600 meters deep cliff at the end of this job ensures chiselled nails.
6) Barra Airport (Scotland)
Barra Airport is a very unusual airport on the Scottish island of Barra. The three lanes are sand and can only be used at low tide. At high tide, the courses are flooded by the sea. The makers of the flight schedules must, therefore, take into account the tides. Only small aircraft use this ‘sandbox.’
7) Toncontín International Airport (Honduras)
Pic Credits: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/568086940469957786/
In Honduras, it is also briefly squeezing during the landing. With Toncontín International Airport in sight, the pilots in a mountainous valley must make a bend of 45 degrees. Dangerous, also for the bystanders who watch all landings from a rock. The good news: Honduras has three other International Airports, and once there are excellent bus connections.
8) Madeira Airport (Portugal)
For many pilots, the relief is great when the aircraft is safely on Madeira. Because of the location between a high mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, only specially trained airmen can land here. The original runway, 1600 meters long, was extended to 2781 meters in 2000, but is now partly on stilts above the sea. And the airport is now – after Portugal won the 2016 European Championship – official: Aeroporto Internacional da Madeira Cristiano Ronaldo.
9) Courchevel Airport (France)
Winter sports enthusiasts will be glad if they can leave the plane in the French Courchevel. The runway, 2000 meters high in the Alps, has a gradient of 18.5% and is only 545 meters long. Door starts are not possible, and the adjacent cliffs and hills do not make it any easier. That is why only specially licensed pilots are allowed to land and land here.
10) Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (Saba)
Pic Credits : https://charismaticplanet.com/juancho-e-yrausquin-airport-the-shortest-commercial-runway-in-the-world/
At number ten, but no less dangerous. High rocks, high cliffs and strong gusts of wind at this airport (you) in Saba cause great difficulties. Together with the airport in Lesotho (see number 5) it has the shortest runway in the world: 400 meters. Also a nice idea: due to the lack of back-up options the device shoots down into the sea for 60 meters. Officially the airport is closed, but with special permission from the authorities, it can be used – with small aircraft, which happens almost daily.