initious
Topic Author
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Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The World

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:16 pm

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!!)
One way I will fly around the world!
 
peanuts
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:19 pm

I would go with SAB and TGU (Tegucigalpa, Honduras). Check YouTube.

Why? Obstacles. Mountains and Water. The shortness of the runways is just for kicks...  Smile



[Edited 2010-03-05 11:26:05]
 
sw733
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:25 pm

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Kai Tak
Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Despite being breathtaking, I'm sure it is not the hardest airport to reach in the world.

Well it is now...
 
initious
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:25 pm

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
One way I will fly around the world!
 
Rj111
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Interesting thread.

Here's a video...

Pato Approach

Would be even better to see a cockpit view.

The turn onto the final is never fun so TGU - as mentioned - has to be up there.

Tegucigalpa Approach
 
initious
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:45 pm

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.
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MaverickM11
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:57 pm

Hardest to reach or most difficult landing?
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
initious
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:03 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 6):
Hardest to reach or most difficult landing?

I guess probably you thought my topic meant "Hardest to reach by land"?

However in this topic both will be similar as most difficult landing will mean that the pilot has to fly the plane more precisely in order to reach the airport. Correct me if I'm wrong. =)
One way I will fly around the world!
 
FLY2LIM
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:06 pm

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.

FLY2LIM
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mandala499
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:37 pm

Try...
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 !

Mandala499
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:42 pm

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 4):
Would be even better to see a cockpit view.

Ask and you shall receive...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlKApjc9T2U

I agree with all the airports mentioned so far.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:25 pm

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!
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
Rj111
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:44 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 10):
Quoting RJ111 (Reply 4):
Would be even better to see a cockpit view.

Ask and you shall receive...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlKApjc9T2U

I agree with all the airports mentioned so far.

Fantastic, thanks, and yes it does look tricky. I would love to have a go at flying in there.

I bet a go-around takes ages.

[Edited 2010-03-05 13:46:03]
 
FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:06 pm

The River Visual to Runway 19 in DCA is up there. I've done that one in the MD-88 at DL Headquarters. That was fun.  
"Let's Roll"- Todd Beamer, United Airlines Flight 93, Sept. 11, 2001
 
Rj111
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:07 pm

Seems flights to PBH are VFR too!
 
Viscount724
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:14 am

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
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:55 am

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!
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Danfearn77
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:53 pm

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 4):
The turn onto the final is never fun so TGU - as mentioned - has to be up there.

Tegucigalpa Approach
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_z5HtME9n8&feature=related

Great video
Eagles may soar high, but weasels dont get sucked into jet engines!
 
fn1001
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RE: Hardest Commercial Airport To Reach In The Wor

Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:10 pm

Hard to reach? Frankfurt Haahn!

From FRA you have to change several highways, usually with traffic jam, and the last kilometers are horrible. Not train connection, a poor bus service...
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