Most frequent-fliers have tales of white-knuckle flights. Turbulence can shake everyone up. Rough landings or in-flight engine problems make passengers fear the worst.
Now the online travel site Airfarewatchdog has come up with its 2013 list of thrilling – that is, scariest – airports around the world. Here’s the list:
- Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica: Unpaved, a chance the ice could crack under the weight of the plane.
- Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar: Major highway cuts through the runway.
- Madeira Airport, Portugal: Last-minute sharp turns, strong turbulence over the ocean.
- Qambo Bamda Airport, Tibet: 14,000 feet above sea level (high altitude landings = extremely dangerous).
- Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island (Caribbean): Error = ocean landing, experienced pilots ONLY.
- Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong: Closed in 1998, planes flew so low you could almost touch them (from apartment buildings edging the runway).
- Matekane Air Strip, Lesotho: Dirt air strip, drops off at a cliff.
- Eagle County Regional Airport, Vail, Colo.: Bad winter weather, tough terrain.
- Narsarauq Airport, Greenland: Constant turbulence/gusts of wind, last minute adjustments needed to avoid crashing into surrounding valley.
- Ketchikan International Airport, Ketchikan, Alaska Short runway close to mountains/ocean, bad weather.