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World's most 'dangerous' airports

Last updated on: February 8, 2012 10:56 IST

World's most 'dangerous' airports

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While most airports are safe for both passengers and the aircraft, some airports are dangerous for both.

Here we take a look at the most dangerous airports in the world based on extreme locations at high altitudes, difficult approaches or short runways.

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Image: These are some of the most dangerous airports in the world.


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Sea Ice Runway

Antarctica

The annual sea-ice runway for wheeled aircraft is constructed at the start of each season and is used until early December when the sea ice begins to break up.

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Image: Sea Ice Runway.


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Pilots landing C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft on the sea ice runway report that the surface is stable, not unlike landing on concrete.

However, the similarity with land bases ends when the jet aircraft rolls to a stop. The nearly 450,000 pound weight of the plane, including cargo and passengers, causes it to sink into the ice, albeit only a matter of inches.

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Image: Runway sinks under the weight of planes.


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Saba

Netherlands Antilles

This seaside spit of land on Saba - a tiny Caribbean island administered by the Netherlands - is resort ready but rough as a runway.

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Image: Saba, Netherlands Antilles.


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The locals claim that Saba's runway is the shortest commercial airport runway in the world.  It is 400 metres (1,300 feet) in total length.

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Image: The locals claim it is the shortest runway.


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Paro Airport

Bhutan

Paro Airport is the only international airport of Bhutan. The airport is located six km from Paro in a deep valley on the bank of the Paro river at an elevation of 7,300 ft (2,200 m).

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Image: Paro Airport, Bhutan.


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Flights at Paro are allowed under visual meteorological conditions only and are restricted to daylight hours from sunrise to sunset.

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Image: Flights at Paro are allowed under visual meteorological conditions only.


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Matekane Air Strip

Lesotho

Matekane Air Strip is an airport in Lesotho, Africa with a 400 m (1,300 ft) runway that extends to the edge of a 600 m (2,000 ft) cliff.

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Image: Matekane Air Strip.


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The airport is often used by charity organisations and doctors to access remote villages in the area, and is labelled as having the world's scariest runway.

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Image: The airport is often used by charity organisations.


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Svalbard Airport

Norway

Svalbard Airport is the main airport serving Svalbard in Norway.

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Image: Svalbard Airport.


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It is located 1.6 nautical miles (3 km) northwest of Longyearbyen, and it is the northernmost airport in the world with public scheduled flights.

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Image: It is the northernmost airport in the world.


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Courchevel Airport

France

Courchevel Airport is a French airport that serves Courchevel, a ski area. The airport has a very short runway of only 525 metres (1,722ft).

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Image: Courchevel Airport.


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There is no go-around procedure in this airport. De Havilland Twin Otters and Dash 7s have served the airport, but now more Cessnas and helicopters serve the airport.

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Image: There is no go-around procedure in this airport.


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Barra Airport

Scotland

Barra Airport is a short-runway airport situated in the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhor at the north tip of the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

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Image: Barra Airport, Scotland.


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The airport is unique, being the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway. The airport is operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, which owns most of the regional airports in mainland Scotland and the outlying islands.

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Image: Beach is used as the runway.


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Tenzing-Hillary Airport

Nepal

In January 2008, the airport was renamed in honour of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first persons to reach the summit of Mount Everest and also to mark their efforts in the construction of this airport.

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Image: Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal.


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Toncontin International Airport

Honduras

Toncontin International Airport is a civil and military airport that serves Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It is located six km (4 mi) from the centre of Tegucigalpa.

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Image: Toncontin International Airport.

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The airport is famous for being one of the most dangerous in the world due to its proximity to mountainous terrain, its short runway, and its historically difficult approach to runway.

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Image: The airport is famous for being one of the most dangerous in the world.


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Gibraltar Airport

Gibraltar

Gibraltar Airport is the civilian airport that serves the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It is owned by the Ministry of Defence for use by the Royal Air Force as RAF Gibraltar.

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Image: Gibraltar Airport.


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Although located in Gibraltar, the airport is increasingly being used by people from or visiting neighbouring Spanish areas such as the Costa del Sol or the Campo de Gibraltar.

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Image: The airport is also used by neighbouring areas.


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