Passengers landing at these airports are in for a thrill for a variety of reasons. Check out the 10 scariest U.S. airports.
You probably won't want to pay for a seat on a flight to one of these airports again. Here are the scariest U.S. airports, in no particular order, as compiled by Rachael Prescott.
San Diego International Airport (Lindbergh Field)--The downtown location makes San Diego one of the most dangerous airports in the country. In addition, nearby mountains, Mexican airspace to the south, and strong tailwinds from the west make for nail-biting landings.
Aircraft arriving from the east land at what is called a displaced threshold, located 1,810 feet from the end of the runway. Several obstructions surround the airport, including a freeway, tall trees and a parking structure.
Midway International Airport, Chicago, Ill.--This airport is known for its short runways, which are squeezed into the metropolitan area. Midway's average runway length is 5,495 feet. Newer airports have runways averaging over 7,000 feet in length.
In December 2005, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 overran the runway and plowed into an intersection, killing a 6-year-old boy and injury a dozen others.
Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, Aspen, Colo.--Pilots must be specially certified to land at Aspen, because landing at the airport requires a fast decent from high altitude. The airport is wedged between two snowy mountains.
A Gulfstream corporate jet crashed on final approach to Aspen on March 29, 2001, killing all 18 people on board.
Telluride Regional Airport, Telluride, Colo.--At 9,078 feet, Telluride is higher than any other North American commercial airport. Touch-and-go landings are prohibited, because a plane may go tumbling down the rocky cliff bordering the airport if the pilot can't get it back up in the air.
Spotting the runway among the sprawling mountains could be a difficult task for pilots landing at Telluride.
John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana, Calif.--Strict noise reduction rules require pilots to ascend at full throttle after take off and then abruptly cut back power to reduce noise over nearby neighborhoods.
View of a neighborhood near John Wayne Airport shortly after takeoff.
Catalina Airport, Avalon, Calif.--This airport is known to have downdrafts and turbulence on approach. The middle of the runway is so raised that pilots on one end cannot see the other.
The view from the cockpit of a plane landing at Catalina shows why the strip was nicknamed "The Airport in the Sky."
Reagan National Airport, Washington, D.C.--Flight paths are carefully plotted when approaching and departing this airport. Reagan National is in between two overlapping no-fly zones. Planes must avoid CIA headquarters, the Pentagon and the White House.
A pilot flying the famous "river visual" into Reagan National. Pilots use the Potomac river as a guide on approach for landing in order to avoid the no-fly zones.
Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport, Sitka, Ala.--This airport is located on a tiny island in Sitka Sound, surrounded almost completely by water. Weather is unpredictable and pilots have to watch out for debris that washes up on the runway after storms.
The passenger view from inside a plane seconds before landing at Sitka.
Yeager Airport, Charleston, W. Va.--This airport has one operational runway, which sits atop a flattened mountain. The runway sits between two cliffs, leaving no room for error when landing.
La Guardia, New York, N.Y.--La Guardia is one of three airports that make up the country's largest airport system, so the skies are always crowded. The close proximity to Manhattan requires pilots to make a series of tight, low-altitude turns during the approach to land.
To read more of Airfare Watchdog's list of the scariest U.S. airports, click here.
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