20 Most Dangerous Airports In The World

Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica

Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica

You might be surprised to discover that there are airports in places as remote as Antarctica. The frozen land records the lowest temperatures on earth, averaging -49°C in winter. Close to McMurdo Station, the Sea Ice Runway airport is used by scientists and as a US military base.

The 2.5-mile airport runway is made entirely of ice. Carved into the sea ice off Ross Island annually (the airport is shut in warmer months when the ice begins to weaken). It’s extremely tricky to land here as pilots must avoid a heavy landing and stationary aircraft should be monitored closely to ensure they do not sink more than 10 inches into the ice. Like this wasn’t enough trouble, Antarctica has 6 months of 24-hour darkness during the winter and because there are no lights here, pilots must land in complete obscurity.

Only highly trained military pilots land here, so thankfully the Sea Ice Runway hasn’t seen many accidents despite its dangers. However, in 1960, a United States Navy crashed while attempting to land on the ice. The men on board were injured, but luckily nobody was killed. The aircraft skidded into the water and was allowed to sink, its ghost is still haunting Antarctica freezing waters.

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