A bumpy landing can give even the most seasoned traveler the jitters, even if you know the odds are you’ll arrive safely. After all, flying is one of the safest modes of transportation out there. But at some airports, arrivals and departures are truly a white-knuckle experience. Flying into these airports isn’t totally unsafe — if the risk was too great, no airline or pilot would be attempting to land — but it can still put passengers (and sometimes even the crew) on edge. A few have even been the site of deadly crashes that have killed scores of passengers.
At these 15 airports, steep cliffs, fierce crosswinds, and other factors combine to test the nerve of even the most frequent flyers. Plus, find out which airlines have the worst safety ratings in the world.
15. Congonhas Airport
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Annual passengers: 18.1 million
Pilots flying into Sao Paulo’s “infamous” Congonhas Airport know they should prepare. Originally built on the outskirts of the Brazilian capital, the airport is now surrounded by high rises. The runway is short and can be slippery, though there have been improvements since a deadly accident in 2007 when a jet skidded off the runway and burst into flames. All 187 passengers and 12 people on the ground died.
Next: 131 people died in a single accident at this location