The World’s Scariest Airports

These are the scariest airports in the world because landing and take off are located in difficult to maneuver locations. This post is not recommended for people with a fear of flying 😉

1. Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal

Also known as Lukla Airport, it was renamed in 2008 in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The airport is known as the place where most people start the climb to Mount Everest Base Camp and is also known to be one of the world’s most dangerous airports. Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, the airport sits at an altitude of 9,000 feet and is subject to high winds, cloud cover and changing visibility. Takeoff is particularly scary. The 1500-foot runway is at a 12 percent incline and abruptly drops off 2,000 feet to a river valley below.

Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal

Lukla Airport Nepal

Source: Wikimedia

2. Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten

Maho Beach is famous for being literally just a few feet away from the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport, with planes flying very low over tourists to touch down as close as possible to the beginning of Runway 10.



3. Wilkins Runway, Antarctica

This runway is constructed completely of ice and is operated by Australia to reach the country’s base at Casey Station. In all honesty, this just doesn’t look like an airport, it feels like you are just landing on ice :O

Wilkins Runway, Antarctica2

Wilkins Runway, Antarctica

4. Wellington International Airport, New Zealand

Located in the capital of New Zealand, this is one of the scariest places to land if the wind is up.


5. Madeira Airport, Santa Cruz, Madeira

Even the most experienced pilot may have trouble landing on this next runway located on the Portuguese island of Madeira. An international hub, the Madeira Airport, also called the Funchal Airport, was known for its extremely narrow runway, which required pilots to fly toward the mountains then quickly turn and descend in the final approach,


Madeira Airport, Santa Cruz, Madeira

6. Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

This Hong Kong airport was closed in 1998 due to its dangerous approach, as planes had to avoid skyscrapers and mountains while trying to land at Kai Tak. Runway 13 was an infamous approach among passengers and pilots. First, the airplane would pass over the harbor than the very densely populated area of Western Kowloon, according to Tnooz. After reaching a hill with a checkered red and white sign, pilots had to make a 47-degree right turn to line up with the runway and land.



7. Courchevel Airport, France

To paraphrase Yoda: Land or don’t land, there is no try. Courchevel is a ski resort in the French Alps. The airfield has a very short runway of only 1,762 ft. There is no go-around procedure for landings at Courchevel, due to the surrounding mountains.

Alpine Airport

Courchevel Airport

8. Old Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito, Ecuador

Before February 2013, landing at Ecuador’s capital was a heart-stopping experience. High altitude, a small runway, and nearby volcanoes made it one of Latin America’s most challenging airports for pilots, according to USA Today. In addition, the airport sat at an elevation of 8,700 feet, an altitude that diminishes aircraft performance on takeoff and landing.

Old Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito, Ecuador2

Old Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito, Ecuador