The worlds most dangerous airports
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Where flying is concerned most people have a fear of the plane or the flight itself but have you ever considered how safe the airport you’re flying from is? Let’s get some of the scary ones out of the way.
If you find yourself either travelling to or from Barra, Scotland, then you will be making the most of the beach. The airport's three runways are sand and depending on the tide, quite often under water.
In comparison with this next airport, it Barra has it all plain sailing. Toncontin International Airport, Honduras has one of the most difficult approaches in the world. It has to navigate a winding ravine and a set of houses before making its final descent to the tarmac valley. The landing strip is more than 1000 meters above sea level and due to the wind changes the pilots are often faced with last second adjustments, making this one of the more dangerous landings.
Princess Juliana International Airport, Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten, on the other hand, is more dangerous for those who have already landed and are trying to enjoy their holidays. It is one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean with a flight path that cruises over the nearby beach. Potentially leaving sun seekers injured by jet blasts.
Not only do planes by-pass a small section of beach to land, but they have to contend with the runway being too short. Spanning just over 7,000 feet it falls short of the requirement of 8,000 feet needed for bigger planes to land.
Ever fly to Lukla, Nepal? Then you’d better hope your pilot likes a challenge. This runway is uphill and the landing strip drops off into a valley. On top of that, the weather fluctuates so quickly that a routine landing can quickly become a dangerous situation.
Airports can often seem like a busy street or City Centre, in the case of Gibraltar International Airport it quite literally is. Winston Churchill Avenue runs directly through the middle of the airport and is required to close for taking off's and landings, making this particularly dangerous for an airport.
Paro Airport, Bhutan, Himalayas
If you’re flying here then hope your pilot has called in sick as there is a good chance you won’t be going. Only 8 pilots are qualified to land on the 6,500-foot landing strip. It is the only airport that is further above sea level than the length of its landing strip and has to navigate peaks with an 18,000 feet drop. This one is not for the faint-hearted.
To be on the safe side
It's not all doom and gloom. There are some safe ones too.
Zurich Airport has been acknowledged for constantly improving safety measures. The airport is also known for its convenience. It is located 5 miles north of the City Centre and is easily accessible by public transport. It also has a porter service so travellers can pay a fee and a porter will collect their bags from anywhere in the airport. But it's the safety measures that grab attention. These include developing a new training method for the removal of snow and ice as well as a landing procedure that, with the assistance of GPS, helps pilots approach during poor visibility.
If recognised safety is what you desire then look no further than Tokyo Haneda International Airport. One of two airports used for travel to Tokyo, it is not only one of the busiest airports in the world but also one of the safest. It was the fourth airport to be granted the much converted 5-star airport badge from Skytrax and is admired by travellers for being modern, tidy and efficient.
Last year, Skytrax ranked Copenhagen the best in the world when it comes to Airport security. It was also ranked as the second best at delivering luggage.
More often than not, the airport you will be travelling to and from will be as safe as houses. However, some of them have little quirks that you might need to prepare for. So keep an eye out and do a little digging before booking that flight.