Most of us travel by air enough to wonder if some airports are safe than others! While many on the World list are in exotic places, the US list is interesting. This list is really difficult to finalize because there are so many "Opinions" on what is dangerous. However, this "World" list is real, and if you want more details, look it up on the internet. Lastly, there are few Marriott properties on the international list of cities.
If you have other airports or experiences, please share with all of us!
10th to 1st,
Saba Netherlands, Antilles
Tioman Island, Malaysia
Others on various world lists:
The United States List:
Naturally, this list is "Subjective" by a lot of opinions and various facts, but it is an "Eye Opener" for many of us travelers!
Share your comments? Thank-you!
Interesting thread (you always start good ones). Fortunately, other than perhaps Hong Kong, I don't see myself flying into any of the foreign airports on your list.
As I use SFO, SAN and LAX the most, I can say that the biggest danger at LAX is simply runway incursions, which they say are more often than not, pilots not following directions from the tower (and the majority of those pilots being private aircraft). I've also read that SEIU has a potential role, in terms of their hiring practices. I don't really see LAX as a dangerous airport.
SAN offers a landing pattern that includes some hills and a parking garage, and the runway isn't extremely long, on top of a huge runway displaced threshold (for the parking garage, perhaps?). I think I may have read that 747's don't fly in there anymore? SAN is also the busiest one-runway airport in the nation. 55 flights land and take off every hour on the one runway. There are a number of smaller airports surrounding SAN, which adds to congestion. I don't think it deserves a designation of most dangerous.
As for SFO, the issues are the same as for LAX, runway incursions. There's simply a lot of traffic, and I would think that so it goes with most major airports in the U.S., which makes it imperative that both pilots and tower folks are always at the top of their game.
I think the reality is that when we find ourselves stuck sitting on a plane long after our scheduled departure time, there's probably a good reason why we haven't taken off yet, and we're likely the better off for it. At least it beats a potential alternative!
Thanks for another great discussion, Jerry. And btw, I like your location tag!
I think these domestic "Airport dangers" are really about volume, not difficulty landing/taking off like the international airports!
Yes, you can put any location tag in the box. Glad you like it! Wish I could designate where I would like some people to go to! But that would get me in trouble!
WOW you did it jerrycoin,
I'll have to wait till the weeknd or next week to comment as most of these I've flown into either as a passenger or in the jumpseat. Gotta head off to the pillow right now, but thanks for posting it...you da MAN!!
A couple of observations!
The "Worlds most dangerous" are just that! They are all difficult landing and take off places. Domestically, it seems to be just the opposite. It's seems to be all about the volume of traffic!
Will look forward to your take on this!
There is also a lot of "Speculation" on opinions of which places really belong on the list!
Some places like Nepal, seem like common sense!
I wish I could, for the life of me, recall which airport the following experience was at, but I cannot. I want to say it was somewhere in Greece. Perhaps Crete? Anyway, all I remember is that you come over some mountains and, suddenly, there was the airport.... and a rather short runway which abruptly ended at a drop-off into the sea. While I was waiting to board my return flight I stood at the huge glass windows and watched the planes attempting to land. More often than not they had to abort and try try again. It was the most exciting time I'd ever had at an airport. Unless you count the times when I was a kid and there was still such a thing as payphones. I would traverse the entire terminal checking each coin return and would walk away much wealthier than when I had arrived. But I digress.
Anyway, I stood at the terminal windows watching the approaching flights. As they approached I'd be saying "He's not going to make it. He's not going to make it." And, sure enough, just when you thought he was going to touch down and kill everyone on board, he'd pull up at the last minute and circle back around. Sure glad I wasn't on any of those flights.
This is a great story!
It may take IAH, or the Professor (I don't know how to highlight their names to alert them), to help identify this airport!
Sure sounds like one of the 10 most dangerous in the world, but none of them seem to fit the description.
Hope you can remember! We may need Sherlock Holmes!
If we have to we know where he "Hangs out"!
Awesome reply and picture. I'm just settling in after a perfect day on UA (go figure all CO airplanes and crews, why did they do this merger thing) so after a fresh cup of java in the morning I'll take a few more stabs at this list and hope others like pluto77, profchiara, anadyr, nuhusker, kharada46 and others will step up to the plate with this thread.
Sorry but my reply will be somewhat disjointed.....but it's me so what else is new?
IMHO, St. Maarten (SXM) is not dangerous at all, simply well photographed due to Maho Beach being directly underneath the path of arrivals landing to the east. The runway is about 7,500' in length which much greater than the 5,700' of Orange County (SNA) and even less when you consider the instrument landing system glide slope doesn't even put the airplane on to the runway until 1,000' past the landing threshold. SXM does have a mountain east of the airport which does require a turn to the south, but not as quick as the turn when climbing out of Eagle County (EGE) near Vail, CO. The EGE departure is one which I have flown out of in the jumpseat and it is pretty quick, not what I'd all unsafe at all. But keep in mind when a U.S. airport has specific departure issues like mountains they are evaluated based upon an engine out so an airplane that has lost an engine right after takeoff can still fly the procedure such as EGE. The single motor climb criteria itself is a nice safety barrier as when both engines are producing thrust all is well.
Just looking at the domestic list, not one of those airports is close to being dangerous at all, wonder what they used to figure out what was and wasn't dangerous.
Tegucigalpa, now that is no place I want to fly into period. Take a look at some of the landings on youtube of that joint, no thank you.
Saba, is a very short runway which the approach comes in over a hill/mountain and the other end of the runway puts you in the beach and ocean. The airport is fine for short takeoff and landing airplanes (STOL) when the weather is good.
Back to the U.S., San Diego (SAN) again is a challenge and one that I have again had the chance to fly into in a jumpseat, but dangerous not in my mind. Sure, a parking garage structure is in the approach path if you are too low and slightly left of the centerline when landing to the west. If you screw it up and have to go around then there is a hill west of the airport to contend with however, that should not be an issue unless you fouled other things up as well.
Really a great topic.
Thanks for the reply!
Yes, I hope we hear from a lot of others on this matter. The criteria for "World Airports" on the list, and "Domestic" ones seems so different.
IAH, the only place I ALWAYS felt unsafe landing/taking off was some airpots in "West By God"! Yes, West Virginia, such a lovely state, but when you have to fly in/out of Charleston, Beckley, and Bluefield, you are in for a "Wild ride"! Again, that is just my experience. I do not even know if there is still air service to Beckley or Bluefield?
Thanks for your professional opinion on airports. Most of us will never have a chance to fly into the "World list"! JFK, is one I have alway try to avoid.
Have a safe trip!
I've never been to any of the non-US airports on the list though I found the US ones baffling. Boston dangerous? I've always heard that LGA was one of the worst because of the short runway. And Denver as well.
MissGee, it definitely wasn't Athens for your dangerous airport in Greece, and I've only been to Crete via ship, so I'll leave that to others.
The most dangerous airport for me is JFK because it's like the Hotel California song for me. I've taken some liberty with the lyrics:
Welcome to JFK airport
Such a horrid place (Such a horrid place)
Such a lovely face
Noroom at the airport
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here..
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the lounge
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! "
Gee, aren't they all dangerous? Based on the number of highly trained, fit and every-ready TSA personnel, the place must be crawling with evil-doers, especially those shady types (me included) who want to get on the plane, enjoy the three inches of legroom, be served by surly airline personnel and then discover that a crew member is missing so the flight is delayed for hours.Ah yes, flying in and out of airports is very dangerous, not to mention tedious.
No, definitely not Athens, ProfChiara. I'm thinking it might have been Thessaloniki.
When I reflected back on "exciting times" at airports, I suddenly recalled the time I was waiting for a connecting flight in Manchester. I was wasting time by browsing the shops when, all of a sudden, all the alarms and sirens and lights began to go off and the electronic gates started coming down everywhere, shutting everyone in or out, depending upon your location. I had no idea what was going on so I left the shop before I was locked in. I watched a man dive under the last few inches of the closing gate and roll underneath. There were men in military gear with machine guns running around. Quite surreal.
Another exciting time was my arrival at Seattle. I had waited forever for my luggage to come out, but everything was at a standstill. The next thing, we were all being ushered out of the baggage area and the bomb squad arrived. I watched a guy suit up outside, then walk through and disappear into the back. Eventually, he came back out and everything returned to business as usual.
I notice all the airports in my anecdotes never made it onto the list.
profchiara, now that's perfectly written, wonder how it sounds on the stereo? Well done. But the runways a DEN are miles long, most of them being 12,000' with the longest 16,000'.