Friday, October 03, 2008

Interesting Article

Today I stumbled upon an article in Travel + Leisure magazine that caught my attention. It listed the scariest airports in the world to fly in and out of. It seemed to be judging the fear factor from the perspective of pilots, but I imagine that in most cases, the approaches would be pretty scary for a passenger, too. There’s an airport in the mountains of Bhutan that’s so hard to get to, for example, that only eight people in the world are qualified to land there. I think that most passengers would notice the rocks and trees whizzing by the window and be a little alarmed.

A few approaches did take me by surprise, like JFK and Washington National. Who knew these airports were so difficult for pilots? But because of airspace restrictions and traffic from other nearby airports, they are.

I’m pleased to report that I’ve flown into three of the ten scary airports, plus one—Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak—that got an honorary mention even though is no longer in use.

There is one I probably never will get to, though. That’s the one in Lesotho where the runway isn’t long enough, so on takeoff planes sometimes go off the edge of a cliff and plummet until they get enough speed to become airborne. I just don’t need that much adventure in my life.

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