Most Terrifying Runways in the World

Most airport runways around the world are large and easy to land at, but there are a few runways that are quite unique and require a lot of skill to land a plane on. It turns out what almost 60 percent of all aircraft incidents happen during taxiing, take-off, approach or landing in the airports!

Remember on one of the “scariest” runways in the world on the Caribbean island of St Maarten? Well today, on this lazy Friday, we thought we’d flip the script and show you some of the more unique airport runways around the world that typically make for harrowing landings. From the ridiculously dangerous and short runway at the Courchevel Altiport in the French Alps to the famous Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten, you might want to stay grounded for a while after watching these!

Gustaf III Airport

Also known as the St. Jean Airport, the runway at this airport on St. Barts Island is not only narrow, but planes coming in for a landing have to be careful as to not hit a sloping hillside upon approaching. At the same time, hitting the runway too late might leave your plane in the water. Most Terrifying Runways in the World

Barra Airport

Barra Airport, in the Hebrides off the West Coast of Scotland. Yes, it is a beach for take-off and landing! At least it's only for daytime flights. Most Terrifying Runways in the World

Princess Juliana International Airport

Princess Juliana international airport is definitely on of the most terrifying runways in the world! This airport runway lies eerily close to a tourist friendly beach and is practically famous for planes approaching at altitudes so low that beachgoers either want to run for cover or stay put and experience the rush of being abnormally close to a plane flying overhead. Imagine catching a few rays on the beach and being greeted by this monster steadily approaching from off in the distance.

Most Terrifying Runways in the World

Lukla Airport

Located in Nepal, the Lukla Airport was once voted by the History Channel as the most extreme airport in the world. Known more widely as the airport one flies into before trekking up Mt. Everest, the Lukla Airport runway is nestled between a mountain on one end and a 1,000 foot drop into a valley on the other. And as if that weren’t terrifying enough, the entire runway is only 1,729 ft long.

Most Terrifying Runways in the World


Gibraltar International Airport

This one of the most terrifying runways in the world is located in the British territory of Gibraltar. It is surrounded by water at both ends. And yes, residential buildings, civilian traffic, and the Rock of Gibraltar to the sides. Largely considered one of the scariest runways on which to land and take off, the runway at Gibraltar International Airport has the unique distinction of actually running across a four lane city highway.

Most Terrifying Runways in the World

Chubu Centrair International Airport

Water, water, Chubu Centrair International Airport, water, water. (Tokoname, Japan.) 18e959vhw99acjpg

Courchevel Altiport

Nestled in the French Alps, the runway here is built into the side of a mountain and is assuredly not for the faint of heart. Not only does the runway slope upwards with a gradient of 18.6%, it’s also extremely short, measuring in at just 1,762 feet. Needless to say, there’s not much room for error when landing here.

Most Terrifying Runways in the World Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport Tucked away in the Caribbean island of Saba, the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport has the shortest commercial runway in the world, checking in at just 1,299 feet. Most Terrifying Runways in the World

Copalis State Airport

Another risky beach airport: the Copalis State Airport's (Grays Harbor County, Washington) runway is located between the Copalis River delta and a barrier of rocks. Most Terrifying Runways in the World

Kai Tak International Airport

Kai Tak International Airport, famous and hated for its heart-stopping approach low over Hong Kong, ended its 73-year reign of terror in 1998. Most Terrifying Runways in the World

Matekane Air Strip in Lesotho

Look at the horrifying Matekane Air Strip in Lesotho (Africa). 400m, and then nothing. Most Terrifying Runways in the World