Cool Places

The Most Dangerously Thrilling Airports Every Traveler Needs to Visit

Traveling is always an adventure. And if you’re a thrill seeker, you’ve likely discovered plenty of the world’s most incredible sights and heart-pounding destinations. But here’s something many world travelers don’t realize: some of the most thrilling destinations are actually located at airports.

That’s right — simply hopping on a plane and landing at a different airport can be a thrilling adventure. While cities and countries around the world have plenty of unique and exciting things to offer, there are quite a few international and regional airports that are sure to stun any traveler. From jaw-dropping views and stunning, one-of-a-kind sights to frightening yet exhilarating takeoffs and landings, certain airports can offer a serious trip. And some will even give you a thrill as they put you at risk.

If you’re looking for something that’ll get your pulse racing, something that’s dangerous and death-defying, you need to visit the world’s most dangerous airports. These airports, with challenging runways, difficult landing spaces, and unique geographical features, all offer incredible takeoffs and landings that you need to experience for yourself. As a passenger, they’ll have you gripping your seat’s armrests as you feel what it’s like to explore the world’s most thrilling airports.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport — Ecuador

If you’re looking for an adventure that starts before you even get off the plane, you need to fly into Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador. With limited visibility and a sky-high altitude, this airport’s runway thrills passengers and pilots alike.

This airport is so dangerous and challenging to take off from and land at that only highly qualified pilots are allowed to land there. The airport’s runway is in bad condition, which makes every takeoff and landing incredibly bumpy — so much so that there’s even a sloop in the middle. That sloop causes the plane to jump back into the air, then land a second time with a jarring, crash-like fall.

Tedder / Wikimedia Commons

Kansai International Airport — Japan

Kansai International Airport is close to Osaka, Japan. And it’s an airport that offers incredible, absolutely stunning views from the window seat of any airplane. However, it’s also one of the most dangerous airports in the world.

Surrounded by water on all sides, Kansai International Airport is on its very own artificial landing. While this makes for beautiful views, it’s tough to reach and challenging for pilots to maneuver to. Only specially certified pilots are allowed to land on this island’s runway, and they must be highly skilled — or else you could find yourself on top of an entirely different destination in the Pacific Ocean.