From the unending ice of Antarctica to the sandy beaches of Scotland, be glad you’re not landing at any of these airports. These are the 25 most insane runways in the world!
Courchevel Airport (France)
Found high in the French Alps this runway has been labeled the 7th most dangerous in the world. It’s even on an incline!
Kansai International Airport (Japan)
Yes, all that blue stuff you see is water! This airport is actually an artificial island.
Matekane Air Strip (Lesotho)
Often considered one of the scariest runways in the world, this one literally runs right off of a cliff
Princess Juliana International Airport (St. Maarten)
It’s probably scarier being on the beach that it is in the airplane
Tenzing-Hillary Airport (Nepal)
Although it is nearly 3,000 meters high, it’s only a few hundred meters long.
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (Saba)
Both overshooting and undershooting this runway would be disastrous
Malé International Airport (Maldives)
This is another runway without much wiggle room
Barra Airport (Scotland)
Only for flights during the day, you can probably see why…because it’s a beach.
Gibraltar Airport (Gibraltar)
If you look closely you’ll see a road crossing the runway. That is not a taxi way. It’s actually Winston Churchill Avenue, a relatively busy street and it has to be closed every time a plane lands.
Pegasus White Ice Runway (Antarctica)
Serving McMurdo Station, the name of this runway says it all.
Toncontín International Airport (Honduras)
Surrounded by mountains this airport has some very short runways.
Catalina Airport (USA)
Found on Catalina Island off the coast of California this is another runway that ends with a steep drop off.
Saint Barthélemy Airport (Saint Barthélemy)
And this is another runway that ends up on a beach, except this one has a slope too. And a danger sign.
Chubu Centrair International Airport (Japan)
It seems as though Japan likes to build its airports in the middle of large bodies of water.
Madeira Airport (Portugal)
Because the airport runway was too short and dangerous, the government did something drastic, they put the runway on a bridge. Their solution has won several engineering awards.
Paro International Airport (Bhutan)
Found high in the Himalayas, night time and fog landings are forbidden.
Svalbard Airport (Norway)
Built upon a layer of permafrost, this runway serves the archipelago of Svalbard, the northernmost settlement on Earth that has a permanent civilian population (basically that is not a research station).
Wellington International Airport (New Zealand)
Although it might not look dangerous, this airport has a reputation for turbulent landings due to the winds created by the channeling effect of Cook Strait nearby.
Tufi Airport (Papua New Guinea)
Dirt…dirt everywhere. In spite of that small disconcerting detail, this is actually going to be an international airport soon with flights to Australia.
Agatti Aerodrome (India)
Found on the southern tip of Agatti Island off the coast of India, this is an all around precarious landing.
Congonhas Airport (Brazil)
Surrounded by buildings, this airport in the heart of São Paulo poses some unique challenges for pilots.
Macau International Airport (China)
Once again, an airport with water in terrifying places.
Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (British Virgin Islands)
And yet again…
Williams Field (Antarctica)
The second Antarctic runway on our list, this one requires the planes to have skis!
Sandane Airport (Norway)
Located between two steep hillsides that dive down into fjords, this airport is also subject to high winds. It has been listed several times as one of the world’s scariest runways.