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Flights to Leh are solely scheduled for the mornings. Alamy
The twenty third highest airport on this planet does not sound too excessive… till you notice Leh airport sits at 10,682 ft above sea degree. Surrounded by mountains, with a brief runway, it is beset by robust winds within the afternoon, which means flights are restricted to mornings solely. Widebody and heavy planes are usually not allowed, and all pilots touchdown right here obtain particular coaching.
Beachgoers get a implausible view of planes touchdown at Sint Maarten. Philipp Laage/image alliance/Getty Images
You do not must be an avgeek to have watched movies of planes touchdown at Sint Maarten — social media is filled with footage of jets touchdown on the Caribbean airport. That’s as a result of the runway backs straight onto a seaside, which means that planes are available in to land proper overhead. Although it appears enjoyable, it is harmful stuff — in 2017, a girl was killed by a jet engine blast as she was hanging onto the airport fence with different swimsuit-clad vacationers. For these on board, taking off is barely more scary than touchdown — because you head straight for the mountain rearing up behind the airport.
Planes can solely land through the day at Paro. Andrew Bain/Alamy
Cantilevered 7,364 ft above sea degree, Paro is Bhutan’s solely worldwide airport — but few pilots are cleared to land there, so tough is the strategy. Landings are solely allowed in good visibility circumstances (for starters, daylight) as a result of there isn’t any radar, so planes should make a handbook strategy. They should additionally weave between hills and over homes earlier than curving onto the runway.
London City, UK
Planes dip round Canary Wharf earlier than touchdown sharply at London City. David Goddard/Getty Images
Flying proper over a capital metropolis to land is an uncommon feeling nowadays, however descending into London City you will swoop across the City of London’s skyscrapers, financial institution round Canary Wharf, and land at such a steep angle there’s the sensation of being in a helicopter. Taking off is equally invigorating.
Reagan National Airport, USA
Planes skim over the DC skyline when touchdown at Ronald Reagan airport. Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images
In June 2021, when a Frontier Airlines aircraft skidded off the runway at DC’s Ronald Reagan airport, one passenger described it as a “little bit scary.” But you do not have to be concerned in an incident to get the creeps right here — the sharp flip planes make close to the Potomac River to line up with the runway, and the dodging of no-fly zones throughout town, make this a difficult one for pilots.
Landing at Innsbruck is more durable than it appears to passengers. Robert Buchel/Alamy
Hugged by mountains, the capital of Tyrol is a high snowboarding vacation spot — and an impressive flight in. Or fairly, the views are. The problem for pilots is magnificent another way. Planes should dip over an almost 8,000-foot peak, take care of wind shear gusting off the mountains, and, relying on the path of the wind, could even must financial institution sharply to maneuver into place to land within the valley.
Congonhas sits proper in the midst of São Paulo. Pulsar Imagens/Alamy
São Paulo’s home airport used to have an issue with drainage — one so severe that it brought about a deadly accident in 2007. Following that, the runway was resurfaced to appropriate the issue, however touchdown right here can nonetheless really feel fairly furry. Just a number of miles from downtown — which in São Paulo means it is nonetheless in the midst of town — the one runway, which debuted within the Thirties, is surrounded by city sprawl, which means you will be flying over house blocks and rooftops proper until the final second.
With its brief runway and a deadly drop on the finish, Lukla is infamous. Markus Thomenius/Alamy
Mountains, wind shear and a brief runway — Lukla has all of it. Often known as the world’s most harmful airport, the gateway to Everest, within the mountains of Nepal, has its runway laid out on a cliffside between mountains — simply 1,729 ft of it — dropping straight into an abyss on the finish. To assist planes decelerate, it is even slanted upwards. There’s no scope for goarounds, both — if a aircraft is on ultimate descent, it must land. Still, the mountain views are unbelievable on the way in which down.
St. Helena airport made headlines when it was found that wind shear in its clifftop location made it troublesome for planes to land. Simon Benjamin/Alamy
You’ll doubtless be in for a bumpy trip touchdown at St. Helena. Wind shear paired with a cliffside airport imply the planes are given a superb buffeting as they arrive in to land. Fix your eyes on the views of the Longwood plain, the place Napoleon was exiled, and of tiny capital Jamestown, constructed right into a canyon crack with a single harbor. Originally solely deliberate for small plane, the runway was prolonged to accommodate a 757.
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