The 10 scariest runways in the world

Here’s something else that might sweeten the pot in the Honduras ticket deal that Grant posted about a couple of days ago: Jump on Panamanian airline Copa’s special offer and you’ll have the opportunity to fly into one of the 10 scariest runways in the world, according to Travel + Leisure.

Toncontin Airport, the main airport servicing the Honduras capital, Tegucigalpa, ranked seventh on the T+L list; landing at the airport features a 45-degree 11th hour left bank just prior to touching down on a very short runway. Boeing 757s are the largest planes allowed to fly into the place.

I always thought that the scariest runway (and by extension, airport to take off from and descend into) was San Diego, which features a very steep descent and a short landing space. It didn’t even make the list. Of those that did, easily the scariest looking one is the Matekane Air Strip in Lesotho, a runway so short (1,312 feet) that the small bush planes that take off from there actually fall into a 7,550 couloir before climbing back up the opposite mountainside.

No thank you.

Here’s the T+L top-10 scariest runways in the world:

  1. Paro Airport (Bhutan)
  2. Princess Juliana International Airport (St. Maarten – pictured)
  3. Reagan National (Washington, D.C.)
  4. Gibraltar Airport (Gibraltar)
  5. Matekane Air Strip (Lesotho
  6. Barra Airport (Barra, Scotland)
  7. Toncontin Airport (Tegucigalpa, Honduras)
  8. JFK (New York)
  9. Madeira Airport (Funchal)
  10. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (Saba, Netherlands Antilles)

Check out a really cool slide show of these airports here and find out what makes them so scary.