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The World’s Most Extreme Airport Runways

Posted by Alyson Wuamett on Sep 5, 2014 12:54:01 PM

The World’s Most Extreme Airport Runways

Who doesn’t love to fly?  It is the fastest way to travel between distances when a car isn’t an option.  Of course, the takeoffs and landings are the parts we remember the most. We have collected our top extreme runways in the world! The airports on the list are included because of their intense locations at high altitudes, difficult approaches, or short runways, all of which make landings challenging, and some would say even dangerous. 

princess

First on our list is Princess Juliana International Airport on the island of Saint Martin. The airport is famous for its short landing strip — only 7,152 ft, which is barely enough for heavy jets, leaving no room for error. Because of this, the planes approach the island flying extremely low, right over Maho Beach.  It has become a favorite site for tourists who crowd the beach at the chance to see one of the big boys cruise right above their heads.

 

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island-Saba-Landing-Strip-Juancho-E.-Yrausquin-Airport The most terrifying aspect of this runway is the location. One side consists of high hills and both ends of the runway ends cliff drops into the sea. Not to mention this is the shortest commercial air strip in the world (400 mm) which generates higher risk for landing and taking off.

barra

 

Barra Airport, Barra- One of the most unique airports on our list! It is the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as a runway. Flight times vary with the tides due to the fact that the runway is under the sea at high tide! Emergency night flights are illuminated with vehicle lights pointed at the runway.

Courchevel Airport France altiport-Courchevel-1850
The French Alps is one of the most famous ski resorts in Europe, but flying there is quite risky. The airport is located inside the mountains and has a gradient of 18.5%. It is not only famous for its first-class skiing and extreme weather conditions, but also for the fact that it has had a leading role in a James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.