There are plenty of scary aspects to flying, but what some may not consider are the places where planes take off and land---airports. Airfarewatchdog.com, has released their list of the 10 scariest airports.
Each of these airports is scary, or thrilling in its own way. However Airfarewatchdog.com, founder George Hobica says this list shouldn't keep people out of the skies. "We really don't want to scare people from flying, so maybe we should call these the most "thrilling" airports to land at. Air travel, mile for mile, is still the safest way to get from place to place, other than, perhaps, your own two feet," Hobica said as quoted by ABC.
When people think of an airport being scary, it's usually connected to terrorism, but these airports are deemed scary because of the way they're designed or their specific locations.
Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, Aspen, CO
Aspen is a big area for winter slope-loving tourists, but the surrounding mountains require pilots to have special skills. Pilots must be specially certified to land at this airport because they have to make a quick descent from a high altitude to land at this particular airport.
John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana, CA
This airport is subject to strict noise restrictions, which is a hard factor for pilots to deal with considering how noisy planes can be. In order to comply with the rules, pilots have to take off at full speed and then quickly cut back their engines to reduce the noise. This move has been compared to a space shuttle liftoff.
Midway International Airport, Chicago
This airline is a scary one due to it's shorter than usual runways. The runways at Midway are almost 2,000 feet shorter than ones at more modern airports, which causes planes to overshoot the takeoff and landing. Pilots must adapt to the shorter land to avoid accidents such as the one in 2005 in which a Boeing 737 crashes into a nearby neighborhood, killing a young boy and injuring several others.
Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport, Sitka, AK
This airport isn't called rocky for nothing. Boulders and other debris can wash up onto the single runway of this tiny island airport during harsh weather conditions as it is completely surrounded by water. The sea birds in the area can also cause interferences.
Yeager Airport, Charleston, WV
Not only is Yeager's only runway a short one, but it sits on top of a flattened mountain. The runway sits between two cliffs, so pilots have to be careful not to overshoot the runway or they plane will go down or be stopped by the Engineered Materials Arrestor System at the end of it, like a plane in January 2010.
San Diego International Airport, San Diego
This airport is considered to be one of the most dangerous because of its downtown San Diego location. Additionally, planes sometimes have nose-to-nose takeoffs and landings due to mountains to its north and east, Mexican airspace to its south, and tailwinds blowing in from its west.
LaGuardia Airport, New York
The skies around this airport are often crowded as it's one of three of the largest airports in the tri-state region. Planes also appear to come very close to the buildings of the Manhattan skyline. When passing near these buildings pilots have to take skilled tight, low-altitude turns. Some planes even have to take a 180 turn around the baseball stadium City Field.
Catalina Airport, Avalon, CA
Planes at this airport, also known as the "Airport in the Sky" because of its high elevation, often face downdrafts and turbulence, causing a bumpy landing. Also, the runway drops off on both sides, leaving pilots unable to see another plane on the other side. Additionally, during times of heavy rain, the runway is littered with pieces of asphalt, potholes, and soft spots.
Telluride Regional Airport, Telluride, Colo.
This airport is the highest commercial in North America as it sits on a plateur above the San Miguel River. Pilots only have one chance to land on the runway which dips in the middle as touch-and-go landings are not permitted.
Reagan National Airport, Washington, D.C.
This is another airport where pilots must be skilled as Reagan National is between two overlapping no-fly zones of the nation's capital. Pilots have to fly what's called the River Visual and follow the Potomac River to avoid the Pentagon and CIA headquarters. During takeoff, planes must ascend quickly and turn sharply to the left so they don't fly over the White House.