Tenzing-Hillary Airport (LUA) also known as Lukla Airport is probably the most dangerous airport in the world. Its runway is a mere 1500 ft (460 meters) and has a gradient of 12 degrees, so planes take off and land 180 ft (55 m) below the actual taxi zone.
This hight difference is quite clever for accelarating and braking as well. To top it off, this airport is located at 9383 ft (2860 m) above sea level in the middle of a mountain valley.
But that’s not the only unusual and dangerous airport in the world. On Princess Juliana International Airport or St. Maarten Airport (SXM) in the Caribbean, it seems as planes—even the bigger ones—might touch the tourists on the beach. This airport is located on the Dutch side of the island of Saint Martin, marked off from the beach only by a two lane road and a fence.
Due to its unique proximity to the public beach it is a magnet for thrill seekers, trying to hang onto the fence when the Boeing 747 powering up their engines. As tempting as it is, you should neve try this yourself. Warning signs will say the same because some who tried where blown across the beach or seriously injured when they tumbled and fell.
The International Airport of Gibraltar (GIB) is quite normal, but it cuts of the Rock of Gibraltar and parts of the city from the mainland. Therefore, it has the only runway in the world that’s crossed by a road. When planes land or take off, authorities will lower booms the same that you might see for a railroad crossing.
Yet another one-off you will see on Barra Airport (BRR) in Scotland. Its runway is not made of tar, but sand—formed by Mother Nature herself. This airport does use a beach as runway, with the usual buildings like tower, hangars and terminals built into the dunes.
When you arrive on Madeira by plane you wont notice that something is different with the Madeira Airport (FNC) on this beautiful Portuguese island. But when you travel by car your naviagtional system might show you in the middle of an airfield … That’s because the runway was built above a highway, and supported by hundreds of pillars.
To end this list in style, we have yet one more Caribbean airport. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (SAB), also known as Saba Airport, features the shortest runway for a commercial airport. With 1299 ft or 396 meters in length it would be impossible for an Airbus A380 to land. In fact this airfield is just 193 (59 m) feet longer than the US aircraft carrier “USS Gerald R. Ford”