Air travel is stressful at the best of times. Even before reaching the airport, you contend with concerns related to packing and transportation. Once you get there, you begin to work through a series of plodding lines for various security measures, complete with a nerve-wracking encounter with a no-nonsense customs official. Then comes the flight, itself, as you lock yourself in within a tin box and venture through a series of typical plane activity, such as bumpy turbulence and the occasional heart-stopping drop in altitude.
The process of air travel remains a remarkable and often over-looked innovation. Consider that for all of the gripes and complaints travellers have with the discomfort and inconvenience of planes, they are still vehicles that operate thousands of miles in the air and routinely carry passengers across the globe in a matter of hours. But on-going technological developments and advancements haven’t completely eliminated air safety concerns that are capable of emerging from factors like poor visibility and slippery weather conditions. In 2014, tragic flight disasters involving two Malaysian Airlines flights and an AirAsia commercial jet contributed to 990 air travel fatalities among 21 crashes on the year.
Of course, lest we spook you and fuel an aversion to flying, air travel remains a very safe means of transportation statistically. In spite of the high number of fatalities, the 21 fatal crashes in 2014 represented an all-time low, coming on approximately 30 million commercial flights. To put that in perspective, those numbers leave you with a 0.000007% chance of being onboard one of those flights, or one in 1.43 million. Statistically speaking, you have a better chance at being killed by lightning or a fatal dog attack than via plane travel.
Plane safety regulations help diminish the risk involved in air travel, but so do the personnel involved. Highly trained pilots skillfully navigate their way through challenging takeoffs and tricky landings, consistently engineering smooth, pleasant travel experiences for passengers despite the high degree of difficulty involved. This can be particularly true in more remote flight destinations, where natural landscapes can offer striking beauty, but also treacherous and complicated terrains. Sometimes, pilots are forced to contend with these terrains of less-than-ideally located landing strips.
This list tackles some of the world’s most dangerous airports, those which put pilots to the test. These airports challenge air aces with high elevation, short runways, difficult natural conditions and precariously-situated landing strips. They may well offer some truly stunning scenery as you begin your descent, but they are also capable of offering a white-knuckled, nail-biting experience for passengers as they approach their gate. The troublesome landscapes represented here, including those with weather issues, perilously narrow landing strips and poorly thought out landing sites, make for a set of airports that had a whole new challenging dimension to air travel for those who man the cockpit. One airport on this list, meanwhile, earned its place for mythical and strangely conspiratorial reasons more so than any legitimate runway-related safety concerns.
Video source: The Richest