Gibraltar International Airport, UK
The dangerous thing about Gibraltar airport is its unusual location. Pilots descending onto Gibraltar have a battle on their hands to ensure their passengers arrive safely as the island suffers from extremely adverse weather and particularly powerful winds. The infamous levant winds form a massive smoke-like cloud when they hit the island, and South-West winds cause a severe downdraft and nasty turbulence. The conditions here are so extreme that they can’t even be rehearsed in a flight simulator.
Britain and Spain have a dispute over the territory. Although Britain governs Gibraltar, Spain technically ‘owns’ some airspace around it. So, on top of the terrifying winds, pilots have to make complicated maneuvers to avoid the ‘no-fly’ zone that Spain has in place.
If all of that wasn’t enough – a four-lane highway goes right through the middle of the runway. Barriers go down when an aircraft is coming in to stop traffic, but this doesn’t stop pedestrian tourists from stopping right in the middle to take a photograph. Visitors to the island often unknowingly put themselves at risk when they don’t realise they’re standing on an active runway.
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