Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, Portugal
Madeira International Airport is known worldwide for being one of the world’s most dangerous. As it’s located between the mountains and the sea, its runway is exposed to unpredictable wind patterns. Powerful winds blow from both ends of the runway in opposite directions, causing dramatic wind shifts. And, if that wasn’t nerve-wracking enough for pilots, they also have to navigate a tricky 150-degree turn to land.
The original runway was a mere 5000 feet long. Until, in 1977, a plane carrying 164 people couldn’t stop in time, killing 130 passengers and crew in the devastating accident. Then, only 2 months later in December 1977, another plane descended too low and crashed into the sea, killing 36 people.
As a result of these tragedies, the runway was extended to measure 9000 feet. However, the danger doesn’t end there. Because of the airport’s location, the new section of runway had to be built out into the ocean. It lies on concrete supports, with a terrifying 90 feet drop either side awaiting any aircraft that overestimates the landing.