As we gear up for another exciting travelling season, we continue with a countdown of the Liberty Park Press top-5 airports to land at in the world. Selection criteria include scenery, excitement and of course reputation.
Bah Humbug! The skiing season is almost over (no offense to snow boarders and snow bunnies), but that reality should not detract from the shear difficulty and amusement park screams of landing at a world class ski resort in the French Alps. At a mere 6,588 feet above sea level, Courchevel Airport is not the highest runway on the planet, and with a runway length of just over 1,700 feet it cannot accommodate graceful jumbo jets. However what the facility lacks in measurables, it certainly compensates for in danger. As the site lacks any automated approach procedure or even landing lights, it is up to the passengers’ best friend, the pilot, to successfully navigate the potentially treacherous descent.
The approach features the uncomfortably close edges of jagged peaks with the bountiful green mountain valleys marked by villages and civilization impossibly far below. There is absolutely no room for error as the runway is precariously nestled on a ridge and literally carved into the side of mountain. As the pilot executes the final turn to the Southwest, it becomes apparent that the landing surface is sloped upwards like a bike ramp and the thrill factor is increased by the fact that what lay on top of the runway is invisible. The 18.5 percent grade of after touchdown gives the experience the unique and exhilarating James Bond meets theme park feel and punctuated by a permanent exclamation point. While the thrill of the flight will make for long lasting memories, just the cost of the short trip from a regional airport at nearly three grand is enough to cause a fainting spell.
VIDEO: The Gentle Glide Into The Alpine Wonders