„Hello, this is your captain. On the right you can admire breathtaking sunset. We will be landing soon. It should be fine. If it’s not, please accept my most sincere apologies.’
#1 Saba Airport
Is there anything better than 400 metres long runway? It’s on an island, so if you don’t bring it to a complete standstill or you are not fast enough to take off, you end up in the sea. A wonderful place for summer holidays!
#2 Telluride Regional Airport
Stunning views of the hills, the place surrounded by forests and the runway finishing with a gigantic… cliff. Telluride airport is in south-west Colorado and enjoys the reputation of one of the most petrifying airports in the world. Moreover, it is one of the highest altitude airports in America (2.76 km above the sea level). Even if you are not afraid of flying, this the place to show you what it means!
#3 Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten
You are having a good time on the beach. Then you can see a plane flying towards you. And it is going to land right on you! Welcome to the Princess Juliana International Airport, right next to a beach packed with tourists. The jest from the engines have thrown many careless into the sea. This, however, does not stop others to watch pilots land the gigantic planes on the runway.
#4 Paro Airport
Hidden in the Himalayas, the Paro air port is one of the most difficult ones in terms of landing. In fact, only a bunch of pilots are licensed to do it. Though the altitude of the airport (2.4 km) does not sound that terrifying, the 5.5 km high peaks around certainly impress everyone.
#5 McMurdo Air Station
Frost, ice and poor visibility. Perfect conditions to set up an airport. As long as it’s Antarctica. McMurdo Air Station has got a runway, but it is indicated on white ice (very hard snow) which makes landing extremely difficult, even in case of favorable weather conditions. As if that was not enough, the place is not properly illuminated, so pilots have to react rather instinctively. In 1970 a C-121 skidded off the runway. And it is still there, buried in the snow.
#6 Narsarsuaq Airport
When it comes to landing, both Greenland and Antarctica offer similar kind of experience. Narsarsuaq is particularly tempting with its runway, leading straight into the sea. The weather here is totally unpredictable, which causes lots of turbulences and poor visibility during approaching. Cutting it short – perfect conditions for both the pilot and passengers. The heavy blows of wind together with icy runway are very likely to end up in a disaster in case of a single mistake.
#7 Wellington International Airport
Apart from being the location of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ New Zealand also takes pride in a very special airport – Wellington. It has got a 1935-meter long runway which starts and ends in… the sea. Approaching it is extremely difficult due to strong winds very common in this part of the country. Some passengers are blown down the moment they get off the plane!
#8 Gisborne Airport
We’re staying in New Zealand. There is another airport here that drives some pilots mad. What would you build on the runway to make pilots’ life miserable? Railway track? Exactly! The Gisborne airport has got three grass runways and one main one. Landing requires coordination with the trains passing by and it has happened quite a few times already that either the trains or the planes are late to give way to the others.