The world’s 10 most thrilling airports (according to Airfarewatchdog.com)

Airfarewatchdog.com’s blog has recently published a list of the top 10 most thrilling airports in the world. These “thrilling” airports included:

Toncontín International Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Toncontín International Airport has a very short 6,132-foot runway while approaching aircraft must zigzag to avoid the surrounding mountains. Moreover, aircraft must make a last-second 45-degree turn in order to line up with the runway.

Queenstown Airport, Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown Airport is just below The Remarkables, a mountain range that appeared in The Lord of the Rings. The approach to the airport is marked by strong downdrafts while the runway itself is a popular landing spot for birds. Queenstown Airport is also plagued by bad weather and poor visibility.

Queenstown Airport from the air, taken from a Glenorchy Air plane 

Gustaf III Airport, St. Jean, St. Barthélemy

Gustaf III Airport has a 2,100-foot runway at the base of a hilltop traffic circle with a beach at the other end. Sunbathers on the beach are advised to avoid the spot where the runway ends and the beach ends.

Princess Juliana International Airport, Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Princess Juliana International Airport is famous for having a beach just in front of the 7,000 foot runway – meaning that aircraft must clear the heads of sunbathers as they come in. Its also one of the most busiest airports in all of the Caribbean.

Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT)Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport, Sitka, Alaska

Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport is one lone runway that is almost completely surrounded by water – meaning unpredictable weather and gusty winds. Worst, boulders and other debris can wash onto the runway during storms.

Courchevel Airport, Courchevel, France

Courchevel’s airport is considered to be one of the most dangerous airports in the world and its short runway that includes a steep incline was seen in the movie Tomorrow Never Dies. Moreover, the airport is at an altitude of 6,588 feet where aircraft engines will not produce the same amount of power and there is less lift for the same amount of airspeed.

Courchevel Airport

Catalina Airport (Airport in the Sky), Avalon, California

Catalina Airport is nicknamed "Airport in the Sky" because of its elevation and cliffs. The airport also as a reputation for downdrafts and turbulence when on approach. Moreover, the runway is raised in the middle – meaning that pilots cannot see where it ends.

LaGuardia Airport, New York, New York

New York’s LaGuardia Airport is both busy and short on space plus its by Bowery and Flushing bays. Moreover, the nearby JFK and Newark airports make the skies crowded while pilots will need to do a 180-degree around Citi Field just before they come in to land.

Tenzing-Hillary Airport (Lukla Airport), Lukla, Nepal

Tenzing-Hillary Airport, at 9,000 feet, is the gateway to Mount Everest and it consists of one 1,500-foot runway that slopes up the side of a mountain. Pilots have just one chance to land while aborting a takeoff is not an option as there is a cliff at the end of the downhill sloping runway.

Reinhard Kraasch Picture

Barra Airport, Barra, Scotland

Barra Airport is actually a beach that is marked by wooden poles that get covered by high tide. At dusk, a few vehicles will be used to help illuminate the runway.

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