Traveling to epic, heard-to-reach foreign destinations is pretty cool, most things considered. While traveling to these tiny islands and mountainous places its own adrenaline rush, it's not the fist thing that will make your heart stop for a second — landing there is. If you though just landing at a "normal" airport was treacherous, wait until you see these insane airports!
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba
This runway isn’t for pilots with a weak stomach. At 1,300-feet long and with sheer drops on either side, this airport is considered one of the most challenging to land on in the world.
Kansai International Airport, Japan
To deal with the lack of space, an island was built to house the Kansai International Airport. The construction took $20 billion and seven years to finish, but that’s not the most impressive part — it can actually be seen from space!
Tioman Airport, Malaysia
The approach to Tioman Airport will have your hair stand on end. The plane looks like it’s headed straight for the mountain, then a quick 90-degree turn must be made to align back with the runway. If the pilot doesn’t slow down immediately after the turn, it’s bad news for everyone on board.
Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal
Another one of the runways that require steady nerves is Tenzing-Hillary. A steep drop off, short landing and the extrene high altitude make this place an accident waiting to happen — which isn’t all that uncommon.
Barra Airport, Scotland
If you are looking to play in the sand as soon as you land, look no further than landing at Barra. The airport uses the beach as it’s runway, but only when the tide is out.
Gustaf III Airport, St. Jean
Gustaf has a long reputation of being a very dangerous airport. The sloping runway is difficult to maneuver into a safe flight-path with the beach-goers below — and as such, there have been several severe accidents along the way.
Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar
The only runway at Gibraltar International is actually bisected by the busiest road in Gibraltar. It’s amazing that only a couple little barriers prevent a crash between a 747 and a small compact car.
Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Martin
The planes land just feet above the beach-goers, which makes Princess Juliana a plane spotter’s dream location. Needless to say, this landing isn’t something inexperienced pilots should undertake.
Courchevel Altiport, France
The Courchevel Altiport resembles a ski slope, which seems appropriate for this snowy landing pad. The runway is only 1,700-feet long and any pilot wanting to land here has to obtain a special permit.
Madeira Airport, Portugal
Even the best pilots have trouble landing at Madeira. The runway stands between the ocean and mountains, causing unpredictable wind conditions that can cause a medley of problems. The landing strip has actually doubled in size after a tragic accident in 1977.
Paro Airport, Bhutan
Nestled in the steep mountains of the Himalayas you’ll find what’s considered the most dangerous runway on the planet. Paro Airport is so difficult to navigate to and land on that there are only eight pilots qualified enough to land here.
Ice Runway, Antarctica
The coldest place on the planet might have the slickest runway to go with it. The Ice Runway in Antarctica isn’t paved — the runway is literally made up of manicured snow and ice. Planes must be weighed before landing to ensure the ice isn’t cracked or worse — that a plane could get stuck in the snow.
Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong
Once known as “the mother of all scary airports,” Kai Tak Airport is nestled between skyscrapers, mountains, and the runway jets out in to Victoria Harbour. Kai Tak was shut down in 1998, citing concerns about the demand put on pilots to land in such a tight area.