Home / International Travel Insurance / Articles / Travel Tips / Fly with Caution: Uncovering the Dangers of the World's Most Risky Airports
Team AckoMay 9, 2023
Having a convenient and safe connection between two places or destinations is very important in today's fast-paced world. Nowadays, air travel is the most preferred mode of transportation since it is the fastest, most convenient, and the most cost-effective. However, it cannot be denied that air travel sometimes has its fair share of risks and dangers, especially when it comes to dangerous airports around the world. In this listicle article, we will be discussing the top ten most dangerous airports in the world and why they are considered risky in India. We shall talk about the unique characteristics that make these airports considered dangerous by Indian travelers, as well as the measures that are being put in place to ensure the safety of all travelers using these airports. Read on to learn more about these important safety considerations!
Ngari Gunsa Airport or Gunsa Airport, as it is more commonly known, is located in the remote Tibetan region of China. It serves as both a military and a civilian aviation gateway to the Tibetan region and has a maximum altitude of 4,274 meters (14,019 ft) above sea level, making it one of the highest airports in the world. The airport is considered dangerous in India because of its difficult terrain, unpredictable weather conditions, and low visibility caused by the high altitude. Additionally, the airport is also prone to strong turbulence due to the rocky and hilly terrain, which can make landing difficult and risky.
Lukla Airport, also known as Tenzing-Hillary Airport, is located in the northeastern part of Nepal. It is the main gateway to the mountain region and is the starting point for the world-famous Mt. Everest base camp trek. This airport is considered dangerous in India due to its extremely short runway, which is only 527 meters (1,729 ft) long and only 17 meters (55 ft) wide. The runway is surrounded by mountains and hills, making it virtually impossible for pilots to make an error in judgment. Strong turbulence is also common at the airport due to its high altitude and the surrounding terrain. Additionally, the airport is also prone to strong gusts and has a track record of off-course landings and crashes.
Paro Airport is the only international airport of Bhutan and serves as the main gateway for tourists visiting the country. The airport is located in a deep valley surrounded by high mountains and is considered dangerous in India due to the powerful cross-winds that occur here, often reaching speeds of up to 30 mph (48 km/h). Additionally, the airport has a very short runway of 1,235 meters (4,051 feet) long and only 45 meters (148 feet) wide. Pilots must maintain high levels of accuracy while in this valley, as there is little to no wiggle room to make corrections or mistakes. The airport is also known to suffer from heavy turbulence due to its high altitude and the surrounding terrain, making landings extremely tricky.
Toncontin International Airport is located in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. It is considered one of the most dangerous airports in the world due to its small size (the runway is only 2,150 meters/7,054 feet long and 45 meters/148 feet wide), the unpredictable weather, and the surrounding terrain, which includes a ravine, a highway, and a series of hills. This makes it difficult for pilots to make the necessary corrections while landing in this airport. Furthermore, the airport has a track record of crashes, the most notorious being in May 2008 when an Aeronica flight crashed into a local market, killing five and injuring eighteen others.
Gibraltar International Airport is located in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar and serves as the main airport for the area. The airport is considered dangerous in India because of its unique characteristics; the runway is only 1,843 meters (6,045 feet) long and 29 meters (95 feet) wide and is located at the tip of the rock of Gibraltar, thus making it only accessible via a single runway. Additionally, the airport is often surrounded by turbulent winds and fog due to the position of the rock, both of which can lead to serious landings and takeoffs oversights.
Madeira Airport is located on the Island of Madeira, one of the autonomous regions of Portugal. The airport is considered dangerous in India due to its two asphalt-concrete runways, which are only 1,676 meters (5,504 feet) long and 60 meters (196 feet) wide. Pilots must navigate tight turns and a steep slope, which is often affected by the strong winds and turbulence in the region. The danger of this airport was made even more evident in 1977 when a TAP aircraft overran the runway and crashed into the ocean. This accident resulted in the death of 131 passengers and crew members.
Matekane Air Strip is located in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho and serves as the only airport for the region. The airport is considered dangerous in India because of its terrain; the runway is only 1,242 meters (4,073 feet) long and 18 meters (59 feet) wide, and is perched atop a ridge at an elevation of 7,476 feet (2,288 meters). The high altitude and rocky terrain make landings and takeoffs challenging, and turbulence can make the experience even more difficult.
Courchevel Airport is located in the French Alps and serves as an alternate runway for Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport. The airport is considered dangerous in India due to its abnormally short runway, which is only 537 meters (1,762 feet) long and has an 18.5-degree downward slope. This makes it difficult for pilots to land safely and often requires extreme accuracy and skill. Additionally, the airport is often surrounded by gusty winds and dense fog, making visibility difficult and often leading to dangerous landings.
McMurdo Station is located in Antarctica and is the main research station for the United States in the region. The station is considered dangerous in India because of its unique characteristics; the runway is made of ice and is only 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) long and 20 meters (65 feet) wide. Furthermore, the surrounding terrain is often subject to extreme temperatures, strong winds, and thick fog, making visibility a challenge and making landings extremely treacherous.
Tonopah Test Range is located in the United States and is used by the US Air Force as a military training base. The airport is considered dangerous in India due to its unforgiving environment; the runway is only 1,400 meters (4,593 feet) long and has a steep incline, making landings and takeoffs extremely difficult. Additionally, the runway is surrounded by dry and dusty terrain, making it difficult for pilots to maintain visibility and control of the aircraft in strong winds.
We hope that this listicle was able to inform you about some of the most dangerous airports in the world, and why they are considered risky in India. It is important to be aware of the dangerous characteristics of these airports in order to stay safe during your travels. Additionally, it is also important to always be aware of the weather and turbulence in the region, as these can affect the safety of the aircraft.
What are the most dangerous airports in the world?
The most dangerous airports in the world are Ngari Gunsa Airport in Tibet, Lukla Airport in Nepal, Paro Airport in Bhutan, Toncontin International Airport in Honduras, Gibraltar International Airport in Gibraltar, Madeira Airport in Portugal, Matekane Air Strip in Lesotho, Courchevel Airport in France, McMurdo Station in Antarctica, and Tonopah Test Range in the USA.
What measures are in place to ensure the safety of travelers in dangerous airports?
Measures such as installing ground and air traffic control systems, improving visibility through lighting and markings, and providing pilots with training and guidance to safely navigate dangerous airports are in place in order to ensure the safety of travelers. Additionally, airports will often construct or improve backup runways and other features to ensure the safe landing of aircrafts in extreme weather and turbulence.
Why are these airports considered dangerous in India?
These airports are considered dangerous in India because of the often extreme terrain, unpredictable weather conditions, and visibility issues that they present to pilots. Additionally, most of these airports feature abnormally short runways, which can make takeoffs and landings extremely tricky and sometimes impossible.
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