1. Kansai International Airport
Country: Osaka, Japan
Kansai International Airport is built on an artificial island which is 2.5 miles long and 1.6 miles wide. It is so large that it can been seen from space. Travelers from the airport can go to the main city by car, railroad or a high-speed ferry.
Stewart Schreckengast who is a professor of aviation technology at Purdue University and a former aviation consultant with MITRE, said that this airport might be underwater in 50 years or more because of the climate changes and rising sea levels due to global warming.
2. Madeira Airport
Country: Santa Cruz, Portugal
Madeira Airport is an international airport. It was once famous for its short runway which was surrounded by high mountains and the ocean that made a difficult landing even for the most experienced of pilots. The original runway was only 1,400 metres in length, but later it was extended by 400 metres.
The length of the runway was doubled in 2003. It was extended out over the ocean. Instead of using landfill, the extension was built on a series of 180 columns, each being approximately 70m tall.
3. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport
Country: Saba, Netherlands
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is the only airport on the Caribbean island of Saba, in the Netherlands Antilles. It covers a comparatively large portion of the small island of Saba. Despite the fact that no major tragedies have ever happened here. Still some of the aviation experts think that this airport is one of the most dangerous in the world.
What makes this airport dangerous is that both ends of the runway are covered by cliff which end instantly into the sea while one side is being covered with high hills. This creates the possibility that an airplane might overshoot the runway during landing or takeoff and end up in the sea or on the cliffs.
4. Ice Runway
Country: Ross Island, Antarctica
The Ice Runway is one of three major airstrips used to transport supplies to the researchers at Antarctica. There are no paved runways here. All the planes have to land on long stretches of ice and snow. However, these landing strips are groomed carefully. The only challenge pilots have to face is to land the plane carefully so that the plane doesn’t get stuck in the soft snow. Oh this sounds crazy!
5. Princess Juliana International Airport
Country: Saint Maarten, Eastern Caribbean
Princess Juliana International Airport is second busiest airport in the Eastern Caribbean. It is named after Juliana of the Netherlands, who as a crown princess landed here in 1944. The airport has a very short landing strip of about 2,180 metres that has made it quite famous. Due to short landing strip, the planes have to approach the island flying extremely low. Various photos of jets flying at 10–20 meters or 30-60 feet above the island have been considered fake but they are real.
6. Courchevel Airport
Country: Courchevel, France
Courchevel is the name of the largest linked ski area in France. It has an airport with a very short runway that pilots have to land on an inclined strip to slow down and to take off on a decline strip to get enough speed. Only private or charter planes and helicopters are allowed to land.
You must have seen this airport in the opening scene of the movie Tomorrow Never Dies.
7. Barra International Airport
Country: Barra, Scotland
Barra Airport is the only airport in the world where planes have to land on the beach. It is situated on a wide beach in Barra Island, Scotland. The airport is literally washed away by the tide once a day.
8. Lukla Airport
Lukla Airport is a small airport in the Town of Lukla in eastern Nepal. The airport is at an elevation of 2900 meters and it is quite popular as it has a huge mountain on one end and a 1000 meter drop on the other. In 2008, it was renamed in the honor of Sir Edmund Hillary who was the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.