What Makes This the World's Scariest Airport
Paro Airport in Bhutan is in a treacherous location, to say the least
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2011 2:53 PM CST
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(Newser) – If you're a squeamish flier, you may want to stop reading right now. The Daily Mail reports on what is said to be the world's most dangerous airport—at the very least, Bhutan's Paro Airport seems to handily capture the title of most dangerous place to land. To wit, as of October 2009, only eight pilots in the world were qualified to land on this strip; it's tucked between the steep slopes of the Himalayas, which stretch as tall as 18,000 feet around it. Planes are forced to wind their way around the mountainside, and the houses that litter it. Other facts about the treacherous spot:

  • Until recently, only one airline—Druk Air—was permitted to use the airport, which sits 7,920 feet above sea level and has a runway that measures some 6,500 feet.
  • Flights can only depart and arrive during daytime.
  • Turbulence can be pretty nasty, due to the winds that course through the valleys.
  • About 30,000 make use of Paro Airport each year; there is only one other airstrip in Bhutan.
Click to find out what the most dangerous country in the world to fly in and out of is (it's not Bhutan).

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Dec 29, 2011 7:12 PM CST
Could they just do one special flight at night in a lightening, wind,and rain storm? I'd buy a one way ticket for my ex-mother in law if they did.
Dec 29, 2011 6:34 PM CST
Kept waiting to see where the heck was the runway. Good pilot.
Dec 29, 2011 5:19 PM CST
Actually, there's an airport on Dominica that's almost as bad, if not worse. The plane's tires touched the banana trees at the start of the runway and there are mountains on either side. Like Bhutan, you don't see the runway until after banking. If a pilot has to abort the landing, there's no where to go but climb nearly straight up and sharply to the side. I'd love to see Bhutan, but I was so scared by Dominica, I'm not sure I could subject myself to a landing like that again.