Air travel has made the world a much smaller place, people can reach the four corners of the earth simply by purchasing a plane ticket to get them there. Big metropolitan airports sort and send people all over, they are small cities in their own right. These airports have every amenity that you can think of and they observe every safety feature you can imagine. However not all airports are created equal and some are downright dangerous. Let’s have a look at the 4 most dangerous small airports in the world.
If climbing Everest or taking a spiritual journey through Nepal is in your future then chances are you are going to land here. The runways are small! The average runway is only 20 meters wide (slightly less than 70 feet) and half a kilometer long, but it is the incline that is truly frightening, it is a staggering 20%. There is a mountain on one side and 700 meter drop on the other…close your eyes during takeoff and landing. Yes, there have been some crashes, but if you’re willing to brave Everest, chances are you’re willing to brave the airport. Here is a look.
This small airport can be found in Saba in the Caribbean and this makes the list because of how landings and takeoffs are done. While there hasn’t been a tragedy as of yet, one side of the runway has very high hills and the other drops off into the water. The length of the runway is tiny at just 400 meters that means only small planes or a helicopter can land here. There is a tower but it is only there to give advice rather than control any air traffic there might be. You can’t get fuel here either so if you don’t bring enough with you…well you’re here to stay.
Courchevel is a ski town in the French Alps, the whole town was built just for skiing rather than being an existing village that has been there for years. Like the other airports on this list it has a really short runway of roughly half a kilometer, but a steep gradient of 19%. If you are coming into Courchevel you have to land on the higher incline so you can slow down and conversely you have to take off going downhill in order to pick up enough speed.
Princess Juliana International Airport
This is a bigger and busier airport than the others and it serves as a hub for the nearby airports. The runway is a good sized but the jets have to fly very low to land. Sunbathers on the nearby beaches get a very up close view of the underside of a jet and let’s not forget that these jets aren’t quiet either. There are signs all around the area to warn people of the low flying jets.