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October 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Scary airports: A top (or bottom) 10

The view from a plane at the very high (14,000 foot)  airport near Lhasa, Tibet. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

The view from a plane after takeoff from the very high (14,000 foot) airport near Lhasa, Tibet. (AP Photo/Greg Baker, 2009)

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.

Comments | More in airports | Topics: Airfarewatchdog, scary airports

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