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The Most Dangerous Airports in the World Are Every Adventurer’s Dream

The Most Dangerous Airports in the World Are Every Adventurer’s Dream

When it comes to air travel, danger is the opposite of what most people are looking for. However, some of the world’s airports are in such precarious positions, that danger is the only option. All these airports are certainly risky to fly into, but they also offer some incredible experiences. Whether you’re looking for excitement, or just happen to be traveling to some remote locations, these 15 most dangerous airports in the world will give anyone a thrill.

1. Courchevel Airport, France

This airport in France is among the most dangerous in the world. This airport mainly services ski areas, so is situated in the mountains. Not only does this area in France experience heavy winter weather, the runway itself goes over a giant hill. You’d better hope your airplane’s brakes are working if you’re flying into this one.

2. Barra International Airport, Scotland

BARRA_BEACH_AIRPORT_SEP_2010_(5195165612)

    This airport in Scotland is another one of the world’s most dangerous airports. Mostly servicing a remote community, this airport requires planes to land on a sandy beach in place of a runway. However, this is only true when the tide is out, since when the tide is in, the beach is underwater. Luckily, only small, regional flights use this airstrip, but 10,000 people annually experience the thrill of landing on this remote island.

    3. Toncontin International Airport, Honduras

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      This airport in Honduras has been considered one of the most difficult, dangerous landings for a long time. This airport is located in an unusually mountainous area, with one of the world’s shortest runways. Because weather is also more unpredictable in the mountain ranges, planes must fight constant wind and complete a few sharp turns before lining up to the runway. The runway is so troublesome, that in 2008, an Airbus A320 overran the runway and the flight ended in five casualties. After the crash, a runway extension was completed adding 984 feet to the tarmac, making the total length 7,096 feet. The landing is only slightly easier now, and the unique location still requires a savvy pilot.

      4. Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar

      Gibraltar_Airport_Main_Highway

        Another airport that’s really dangerous, yet must be an experience to fly into, is the Gibraltar International Airport. This dangerous airport is a thrill because the airport runway intersects with a major highway. Every plane that goes down the runway relies on drivers obeying traffic circles to land safely. Given how often traffic problems occur elsewhere, this landing is certainly exciting.

        5. Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan

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          This airport just outside Osaka, Japan, is bordered on all sides by water. Because of high population density in Japan, the only place with enough room for an airport was on the ocean. The airport features spectacular views coming into it; however, fliers are probably too nervous about overshooting the runway to notice.

          6. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island

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            While Toncontin International Airport airport in Honduras boasts one of the world’s shortest runways, the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport in the Caribbean is the shortest in the world. Commercial flights rarely land on this runway, as it is only 396 meters long. The only aircraft allowed to operate from this airport are certified short takeoff and landing aircraft. So while the only aircraft that are capable of landing here are smaller, the short runway still makes for a thrilling approach.

            7. Gustaf III Airport, Saint Barts

            The airport on this French island in the Caribbean is definitely among the world’s most dangerous. Another airport with an extremely short landing, this landing strip ends in a very short beach, followed by the ocean. Larger planes must land at a neighboring airport on the island of St. Martin, but smaller prop planes regularly fly between St. Barts and St. Martin. Another airport that is a truly thrilling experience.

            8. Ice Runway, Antarctica

            1024px-Antarctica_McMurdo_Ice_Runway_Skytraders_A319

              The ice runway in Antarctica is the only way to land a plane on the continent. The airport has no paved runways, and planes are forced to land directly on ice. This is all in addition to some of the worst weather on the planet.

              9. Princess Juliana International Airport, Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten

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              1024px-Princess_juliana_international_airport_approach

                This airport in St. Maarten is well known on YouTube for the spectacular videos of planes landing nearly close enough to tourists’ heads for people to reach up and touch the planes. The airport runway begins directly on the other side of a sandy beach, so visitors see planes pass right over them.

                10. Svalbard Airport, Svalbard, Norway

                Svalbard_Airport_-_Longyear_NO

                  This airport in Norway is the furthermost northern airport in the entire world. Another airport with a smaller landing strip, this airport experiences perilous weather hazards, as it is above the Arctic Circle.

                  11. Tenzing Hillary Airport, Nepal

                  Lukla_Airport_April_2010

                    This airport in Nepal is notable because it’s the first stop on many climber’s journey when attempting to scale Mount Everest. Though the airport is somewhat popular, the runway terminates at the edge of a cliff. Another airport where taking off at the right time is essential.

                    12. Madeira Airport, Portugal

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                      This airport off the coast of northern Africa is surrounded by water on one side and hills on the other. In the year 2000, the runway was expanded to run about half a mile straight out into the ocean. Despite the fact that this landing strip is long enough to accommodate commercial jetliners, even if you’re not afraid of the airstrip out over the ocean, constant inclement weather and difficult wind speeds will give anyone a thrill.

                      13. Congonhas Airport, São Paulo

                      São Paulo city and Congonhas airport

                        Just miles away from the city center of São Paulo in Brazil, this airport was built in the 1930s. Because of the city’s subsequent rapid growth, the airport was almost immediately too small for the number of planes passing through it. However, city growth makes expanding the airport impossible, so pilots are forced to make hairpin turns and follow air traffic controllers’ instructions exactly in order to stay safe on the tarmac.

                        14. Matekane Air Strip, Lesotho

                        Matekane-Air-Strip-Lesotho

                          This is another air strip that is dangerous because of the unusual approach pilots are required to execute. Another airport surrounded by mountains and the ocean, this airport requires such a tight landing that pilots have to be specially trained. The clockwise approach in place of a typical straight approach, requires special handling and an iron will.

                          15. Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong

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                            Thankfully this dangerous airport closed in 1998, but is likely still one of the scariest airports all time. The airport required a tight approach with planes just missing skyscrapers and surrounding mountains. Another airstrip that shot headlong into the harbor, this is one of the world’s most dangerous airports travelers no longer need to stomach.

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                            Alicia Prince

                            A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                              Why You Need a Vision

                              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                              How to Create Your Life Vision

                              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                              What Do You Want?

                              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                              Some tips to guide you:

                              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                              • Give yourself permission to dream.
                              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                              Some questions to start your exploration:

                              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                              • What qualities would you like to develop?
                              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                              • What would you most like to accomplish?
                              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                              A few prompts to get you started:

                              • What will you have accomplished already?
                              • How will you feel about yourself?
                              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                              • What does your ideal day look like?
                              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                              • What would you be doing?
                              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                              • How are you dressed?
                              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                              Plan Backwards

                              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                              • What important actions would you have had to take?
                              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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