13 Of The Scariest Airport Landings In the World

Flying is one of the safest ways to get to anywhere. Even if sometimes it feels really scary, planes are very safe even through turbulence and if struck by lightning. But for some people, landing may be one of the scariest parts. There are actually some places in the world where landing is very tricky for pilots. And ironically some of the scariest airport landings also offer some of the best views. 

Two of these scary landings are in the Caribbean. In the island of St Maarten, pilots can get a little disoriented because the approach is over water and they must reach the right altitude right up to the moment of landing.

In Greenland,  we can find a breathtaking landing for passengers as well as one of the trickiest for pilots. As they approach, they must fly over a fjord and make a U-turn experiencing a lot of turbulence. It’s so tricky, that there are no flights at night.

If you’re planning on climbing Mount Everest you might end up landing at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Nepal. This airport has a short runway and ends abruptly with a 2000 ft cliff drop. In a History Channel documentary in 2010, it was named the most dangerous airport in the world.

A second one near the Himalayas, the Paro Airport in Bhutan sits in a valley surrounded by mountains and only 8 pilots are certified to land here.

And if you plan to fly into Antarctica, the runway in Mcmurdo Sound is only open in the summer months and pilots have to secure a light landing so that they don’t sink more than 10 inches into the ice.

And these are just a few of the scariest airport landings. Check out the infographic below to read about more of them.

13 Of The Scariest Airport Landings In the World Infographic

13 Of The Scariest Airport Landings In the World Infographic

[13 Of The World’s Scariest Airport Landings – An infographic by the team at Globehunters.com]

Have you ever landed in any of these places? What has been the scariest flying moment you’ve experienced?

5 thoughts on “13 Of The Scariest Airport Landings In the World

  1. I’ve landed at Wellington airport many times…not always bad but yes, can be a bit bumpy. Air New Zealand pilots are really experienced flying in here!


  2. Of these, I’ve only flown into Wellington, and I concur with the OP about the turbulence.
    Cuzco, Peru is another bad one. And my last few flights into Mexico City have been ridiculously turbulent.


    1. Yes! Mexico City doesn’t make it to a top 10 of dangerous landings, but I used to have a friend who was studying to be a pilot, and obsessed with planes, and used Flight Simulator, and he told me that flying into Mexico City is very challenging mostly because it’s situated in a valley, and they have to make a few turns to get the right angle, probably causing a lot of wind direction changes and therefore turbulence.
      Cuzco, I don’t know, but assume it’s also because of the high altitude? And possibly even a valley? Never been to Peru but know about their infamous altitude sickness.


  3. Next time I’m coming in to San Francisco’s airport and people are getting squeamish about the water so close below, I’ll just show them this to calm them down. 😉
    And thank you for the travel To Do list…


    1. Haha yes. There are definitely way more scary near water landings 🙂


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