Which are the World’s Top 10 Scariest Airports?

SmarterTravel, a leading online travel resource of independent expert advice for the budget conscious traveler, has released its list of the World’s Scariest Airports for take-off and landing.

Highlights include limited visibility landings, inconveniently placed volcanoes, and runways formed when the tide goes out.

“Naturally there are numerous safety regulations in place to ensure these commercial airports remain perfectly safe,” said Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.

“However, in my personal experience and from talking with several pilots we interviewed, these airports top the list of scariest take-offs and landings with mountains that appear out of nowhere, volcanoes and very low visibility — among others.”

SmarterTravel picks for the World’s Scariest Airports include:

1. Barra Airport, Barra, Scotland

Highlight: It’s always a beach landing and runways form when the tide goes out.

2. Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar

Highlight: The main road to Spain intersects the runway.

3. Toncontín International Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Highlight: A 45-degree bank and quick drop in altitude.

4. Nantucket Memorial Airport, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Highlight: Fog often forces pilots to rely solely on instruments.

5. Paro Airport, Paro, Bhutan

Highlight: Mountainous terrain means every flight is an aeronautical feat.

6. Yeager Airport, Charleston, West Virginia

Highlight: Located on a flattened mountaintop, so overshooting the runway means dropping over a cliff.

7. La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Highlight: A startling approach weaves through volcanoes and mountains.

8. LaGuardia Airport, New York City, New York

Highlight: Crowded airspace (JFK/Newark are nearby) and main runways extend over water.

9. Wellington International Airport, Wellington, New Zealand

Highlight: Windy and the northern approach threads local hills and trolley lines.

10. John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana, California

Highlight: Noise ordinances force pilots to quickly reduce throttle on takeoff.

SmarterTravel is a division of Smarter Travel Media LLC.

Photo courtesy: SmarterTravel

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Rakesh Raman