initious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1011 posts, RR: 16 Posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6143 times:
I'm sure most of our a.netters are familiar with the famous Kai Tak Approach. Despite being breathtaking, I'm sure it is not the hardest airport to reach in the world. Any ideas which airport in the world is the hardest to reach?
According to Wikipedia (I know, might not be accurate), it says that Nyingchi Airport (IATA: LZY, ICAO: ZUNZ) in Tibet, China is the hardest to reach. Here's an extract from the article
Quoting Wikipedia: Known as 'the world's most difficult airport for planes to reach', Nyingchi Airport is situated in the valley of Yarlung Zangbo River in the Southeast of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, surrounded by over 4000-meter high mountains enveloped by clouds and fogs throughout the year. Planes have to fly through the narrow and winding river valley. The narrowest flight path is less than 4 kilometers from one mountain ridge along the valley to the opposite one. According to meteorological data, there are just 100 days overall that are airworthy in the airport each year.
Air China is the sole carrier operating to this airport. Hoping to find some pictures on this site and Google but to no avail, hoping someone can provide a clearer view of how this airport's approach is like. 4 kilometers of space between each mountain ridge does seem dangerous, imagine a strong wind and you look like you are going to hit the mountains soon. If someone could provide information on which aircraft type(s) are being used by CA to this airport, the runway length and the wind conditions, it is much appreciated. =D
Another airport I can think of is Paro Airport (IATA: PBH, ICAO: VQPR) in Bhutan. Only 8 pilots are certified to land at this airport. Similarly, only Drukair operates to this airport with a pair of Airbus A319s. Planes have to climb / descent very steeply to avoid the mountains when taking off or landing in either way. With a single runway of 1985m, it leaves little room for error here.
Therefore, which airport do you think is the hardest to reach in the world and why? (Commercial Airports only please!!)
initious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1011 posts, RR: 16 Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 6080 times:
Quoting peanuts (Reply 1): I would go with SAB and TGU (Tegucigalpa, Honduras). Check YouTube.
I definitely agree with SAB. Your precision has to be great to touch down perfectly at this airport. A little below means you crash into the cliff, a little later means your plane will go for a swim in the sea with you. =P
initious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1011 posts, RR: 16 Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5857 times:
Both approaches were great, but the Paro approach was not as spectacular as I thought it will be. When I was trying it out in a simulator (those used by airline pilots), the pilot actually instructed me to put at much as 8-10 deg nose down for the final approach.
As for the TGU approach, it's truly great, not much to say.
FLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1183 posts, RR: 11 Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5640 times:
The approach into Cuzco, and the takeoff are pretty harrowing as well. The approach (I'm not a pilot) cannot be made coming from a straight direction. Instead, you have to turn between two mountains to line up with the runway. The takeoff, likewise, requires a quick climb in circular motion in order to clear the mountains.
mandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6175 posts, RR: 74 Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5358 times:
WAMENA/WAJW/WMX in Indonesian Papua.
It's almost 5100ft high, with only 5440ft of runway... VFR only, often closed due to weather, and is the cargo hub of the surrounding regions... It is inaccessible by land from other parts of the province... and everything needs to be carried in and out by air. Nice 300ft hills just next to one end of the runway, and is in a valley with mountains coming up to the 10kft - 15kft range. Steep slopes, and literally no navaids (except for one low power NDB) will be received by your plane until you reach about 12,000ft...
Most of the planes going in and out of there are missionary flights and Twotters hauling cargo and some pax to and from the isolated surrounding valleys, and cargo props (An-12, C130s, C160s, An24/26s), some jets (BAe146 combi, freighter... no pure pax jets... and 733F (a totally crazy idea seeing the surrounding terrain) ).
The airports in that area are just bloody crazy... and if you have an accident along the way, don't expect to be found within a day or two! If you have an accident and you block one of the smaller destinations and they can't move the plane off the strip... the town dies of starvation! Nice!
Lots of "1 way in only airports in a narrow valley" in the area... and lots of accidents due to the difficulty of the operating environment !
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11113 posts, RR: 63 Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5258 times:
I'd say FAE in the Faroes should also rank pretty high up the list. 1,250m runway with high terrain all around and snow/ice, yet they operate year around with BAe-146s/RJs and 737s from time to time. Not a great number of diversionary airports to chose from either!
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 21464 posts, RR: 24 Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5196 times:
Another airport where you don't want to be too low on final approach. Avianca Fokker 100 landing at Pasto (PSO) in southern Colombia, not far from the Peruvian border. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0H8D3XLG6I
B777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 998 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5176 times:
The Courcheval altiport is not for the faint hearted either. Used to have DH-7 service, don't know if that's the case anymore. But my money would be on Lhasa in Tibet, and yes you can get there commercially on a DH-6. One way in, one way out. PNR is some 10 miles from finals. Scary doesn't half cover it!
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove