Dangerous Runways From Around The World

Posted on 13th Jun 2018

Runway markings and lights help pilots navigate the tarmac during takeoff and landing. However, some runways are so dangerous that pilots need extraordinary skill and experience to take off and land safely. Here are some of the shortest and most dangerous runways in the world.

Tenzing-Hilary Airport, Lukla, Nepal

Rated by the history channel as the most dangerous airport in the world, Tenzing-Hilary Airport is located on a steep hill and surrounded by mountains.

  • Landings only possible during daylight
  • No turnaround
  • 1,500-feet runway with an abrupt drop off into a river valley

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba, Caribbean Netherlands

The 1300 foot runway at this airport is the shortest commercial runway in the world. Both sides of the airport drop off into the sea and wind conditions are often extreme. 


Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Maarten

At 7,150 feet this runway is longer than some on our list, but is dangerous because of the large aircraft (that need 8-10 thousand feet to land safely) now frequenting the island. Tourists are often seen plane spotting despite repeated warnings. 

Skiathos Airport, Greece

With a 5,341 foot runway, Skiathos is known as the Saint Maarten of Greece. Passengers report feeling like they will land in the sea as the plane descends onto the narrow runway. Planes will often take off with less fuel and make a refuelling stop on mainland Greece.

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