Patna's Jaya Prakash Narayan International Airport has been much in news lately, mostly for its short runway surrounded by the towering Secretariat Clock on one side and the Botanical Garden with hundreds of tall trees on the other.
On August 6 this year, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) declared the runway at Patna Airport unsafe after the state government refused to cut or prune over 3000 trees in the airport area. As a result, AAI officials said that until the situation was rectified, no large aircraft like Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 would be allowed to land at the Patna Airport.
Since then, the state government has tried to comply with the AAI directives and as of today, all major domestic airlines are still landing and taking off from the city airport despite the threat of the shutdown still looming over it.
The Patna Airport covers an area of 254 acres and resides at an elevation of 170 feet (52 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 07/25 with an asphalt surface measuring 1,954 by 45 metres (6,411 ft × 148 ft)
Just for kicks, we present you some of the world's most dangerous and scariest airports in the world. They are all on YouTube.Com and if nothing else, it tells you that the runway at Patna Airport, though still small for the landing of large aircrafts, it is by no means any more dangerous than the airports shown in the following videos.
1. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba (Caribbean) :
The airport's risky reputation arises from the airport's physical position: it is flanked on one side by high hills; and on the runway's other side and both ends, cliffs drop into the sea. Additionally, the runway at the airport is extremely short (400m); this creates the possibility that an airplane could under/overshoot the runway during landing or takeoff and end up in the sea or dashed on the rocky cliffs.
Although the airport is officially marked as closed to traffic, regional airline propeller aircraft are able to land there under waivers from The Netherlands Antilles' Civil Aviation Authority. (From Wikipedia)
2. Toncontín Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras:
The airport has a single asphalt runway, which sits at an elevation of 1,005 m (3,297 ft) AMSL. Until May 2009 the runway was only 6,112 ft (1,863 m) in length. In 2007 the approach to runway 02 was made significantly easier by work which systematically bulldozed a large portion of the hillside, immediately before the threshold. Following on from this work, in May 2009, the southern end of the runway received a 984 ft (300 m) extension, lengthening it to 7,096 ft (2,163 m). As of 2011 the runway is listed as being 2,021 m × 45 m (6,631 ft × 148 ft)
Boeing 757s are the largest aircraft that normally land at Toncontín. Even with its recent runway extension, Toncontín has one of the shortest international runways in the world. (From Wikipedia)
3. Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar:
The runway made of asphalt, is 1828 meter (6,000 ft) long. (From Wikipedia)
4. Madeira Airport, Funchal (Portugal):
The airport was once infamous for its short runway which, surrounded by high mountains and the ocean, made it a tricky landing for even the most experienced of pilots. The original runway was only 1,600 m (5,249 ft) long, but was extended by 200 m (656 ft) 8 years after the TAP Portugal Flight 425 incident of 1977 and subsequently rebuilt in 2000, almost doubling the size of the runway. It was built out over the ocean; instead of using landfill, the extension was built on a series of 180 columns, each about 70 m (230 ft) tall. (From Wikipedia)
5. Barra Airport, Barra, Scotland - Plane landing on Beach:
The Barra Airport in Scotland is unique, being the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway. The beach is set out with three runways in a triangle, marked by permanent wooden poles at their ends. At high tide these runways are under the sea - flight times vary with the tide. Emergency flights occasionally operate at night from the airport, with vehicle lights used to illuminate the runway and reflective strips laid on to the beach. (From Wikipedia)
6. Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten:
Length: 2,300 meter (7,546 ft.) Because the approach to Runway 10 is over water, pilots do become disoriented regarding their perceived altitude when operating under visual flight rules. Normal instrument checks, coupled with experience and situational awareness, mitigate potential problems. The departure from Runway 10 presents more "difficulties" than the approach, with a turn required to avoid mountains in the departure path.
Arriving aircraft approach the island on the last section of the final approach for Runway 10, following a 3° glide slope flying low over the famous Maho Beach. Pictures of low flying aircraft were published in several news magazines worldwide in early 2000. (From Wikipedia)