The World's Scariest Runways

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Artur Bogacki / Alamy

Nail-biting landings and harrowing takeoffs—buckle up when you fly into these airports.

Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar

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Who Flies There: British Airways, EasyJet, Iberia Airlines, and Monarch Airlines.

Why It’s Harrowing: Pinched in by the Mediterranean on its eastern flank and the Bay of Gibraltar on its western side, the airport’s truncated runway stretches just 6,000 feet and requires pinpoint precision. And upon hitting the tarmac, pilots must quickly and fully engage the auto-brakes. Yet as nerve-wracking as the landing can be, it’s never guaranteed. Because of Gibraltar’s unique topography, the British colony endures unusual localized weather patterns that cause flights to be diverted to nearby Tangiers, Faro, and Malaga.

The World's Scariest Runways

Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar

Who Flies There: British Airways, EasyJet, Iberia Airlines, and Monarch Airlines.

Why It’s Harrowing: Pinched in by the Mediterranean on its eastern flank and the Bay of Gibraltar on its western side, the airport’s truncated runway stretches just 6,000 feet and requires pinpoint precision. And upon hitting the tarmac, pilots must quickly and fully engage the auto-brakes. Yet as nerve-wracking as the landing can be, it’s never guaranteed. Because of Gibraltar’s unique topography, the British colony endures unusual localized weather patterns that cause flights to be diverted to nearby Tangiers, Faro, and Malaga.

Artur Bogacki / Alamy
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