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eDreams Travel Blog
  •   2 min read

Being a pilot is not an easy task, especially when you have to take off or land between mountains, fly between narrow valleys, pass a busy street a few inches off the ground, or catch a glimpse of a steep cliff at the end of the runway…

These circumstances occur in airports around the world so we would like to share a collection of the most striking and impressive runways across the world.

Daredevils start booking your flights and fearful fliers start practicing your meditation skills!

Don’t worry: we’re not trying to scare you, remember that flying is still the safest means of transport.

1. St.Maarten (Caribbean), Princess Juliana International Airport

st. maarteen airport
foto: wheel7/flickr

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WEAKNESSES:

– Heavy traffic
– Landing close to the beach
– Hotels and roads close together
– Take-off between mountains

Interesting: Upon landing, the planes pass right over the heads of those relaxing on the beach.

Flights to St. Maarten

2. Saba Island (Caribbean), Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport

saba airport
foto: puroticorico/flickr

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WEAKNESSES:

– Very short runway
– Free fall at end of runway
– Surrounded by cliffs

Flights to Saba Island

3. Courchevel (France), Courchevel Airport

courchevel airport
foto: pr1001/flickr

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WEAKNESSES:

– High altitude as the airport is in the French Alps
– Narrow and very steep runway

Interesting: A scene in the James Bond movie,”Tomorrow Never Dies”, was filmed here.

4. Barra (Scotland), Barra Airport

barra airport
foto: calflier001/flickr

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WEAKNESSES:

– Runway on the sand
– Dimly lit

Interesting: When there are no planes set to take-off, the runway converts into a beach.

Flights to Barra

5. Lukla (Nepal), Lukla Airport

lukla airport
foto: ilklerender/flickr

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WEAKNESSES:

– High altitude
– Tall mountains near
– Unstable climate: poor visibility, wind, turbulence…
– Very short runway

Interesting: It is one of the most dangerous airports, but a necessity for those wishing to explore Kathmandu.

6. Madeira (Portugal), Madeira Funchal Airport

madeira airport
foto: Ania Mendrek/flickr

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WEAKNESSES:

– Mountains on one side and ocean on the other
– Unstable weather: wind and severe turbulence
– Slope at the end of the runway

Interesting: In 1977 there was a serious accident which led local authorities to extend the runway to the beach.

Flights to Madeira

7. Gibraltar, North Front Airport

gibraltar airport
foto: Andrew griffith/flickr

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WEAKNESSES:

– Heavy traffic
– Close to a residential neighborhood
– Runway crosses a 4-lane road
– Very short runway

Curiosidad: Due to lack of space it is probably the only airport in the world with the runway crossing a busy street (see photo).

Flights to Gibraltar

8. Tegucigalpa (Honduras), Toncontín International Airport

tegucigalpa airport
foto: aaronernestoortizlopez/flickr

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WEAKNESSES:

– Short runway
– Quick descent for landing

Interesting: Although it is the largest airport in Honduras, only small planes can land there.

Have you landed or taken off at any of these airports?

Do you know of any other particularly dangerous aiports? Tell us about your experience!

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