Challenging Airports Around the Globe

Challenging Airports, by a real-world pilot Chris Frishmuth, takes a look at some of the most exciting and challenging airports from across the globe.

We have endeavoured to replicate some of the challenging and unique approaches that can set the heart beating that little bit faster. Rarely are airports considered to be ‘dangerous’, but the combination of difficult weather, terrain, aircraft performance challenges, or unusual procedural parameters can combine to ratchet up the risk factor. That’s why many of the airports that we have covered in this series require special aircrew certification and training or at the very least an elevated level of respect, study, and planning to operate to and from that location safely.

The airports in this series have been specially chosen because they provide particular challenges for the pilot. Instruction is then given on how best to fly safely into and out of each location while minimising the risk factors. Due to popular demand, we have selected a number of our ‘Challenging Airports’ articles and compiled them into this special volume. So, whether you’re new to flight simulation or a seasoned veteran, you will find many airports in this volume that will challenge your flying skills.

Challenging Airports

Feature Premium

Challenging Airports: Cochabamba, Bolivia (SLCB)

In this instalment of the Challenging Airports series, we revisit the Cordillera Central mountain range in Bolivia and explore the high-altitude airport of Jorge Wilstermann, home to a fleet of relics from the golden age of aviation.

Feature Premium

Challenging Airports: Samedan, Switzerland

We return to the deep mountain valleys of Switzerland to visit the fly-in ski resort of Samedan. Known as a playground for sports enthusiasts, a privileged few access the region via private and chartered corporate jets. While most of us might not be able to afford a single night in one of the exclusive mountainside resorts, we can take a crack at the journey to get there.

Feature Premium

Challenging Airports, Chambéry, France (LFLB)

In this Challenging Airports episode, we dip into the southeast of France, this time to Chambéry and the subalpine mountain ranges that precede entry into the higher French Alps further to the east.

Feature Premium

Challenging Airports Donegal, Ireland (EIDL)

The coastal airstrip in Donegal in Ireland features prominently in the Landing Challenges activities section in the new Microsoft Flight Simulator. Don a windproof rain jacket and join Chris Frishmuth in battling the often harsh conditions at Donegal Airport.

Feature Premium

Challenging Airports Courchevel, France (LFLJ)

This Challenging Airport episode takes us to Courchevel in France – a small airport carved out of the side of the French Alps!

Feature Premium

Challenging Airports - Reggio di Calabria, Italy (LICR)

This Challenging Airport episode takes us to the seaside airport of Reggio Calabria. Squeezed between the Strait of Messina and the mountains of the Aspromonte massif, the airport presents somewhat unorthodox approaches.

Feature Premium

Challenging Airports - Sparrevohn, Alaska (PASV)

For this issue, Chris Frishmuth explores a relic from the Cold War era. Located in the remote wilderness of Alaska, Sparrevohn is a US Air Force station that continues to serve in the present day.

Feature Premium

Challenging Airports - Pasto, Colombia (SKPS)

Chris Frishmuth takes a look at Antonio Nariño Airport (a 5,951ft elevation airport) situated at the southern end of the Cordillera Central mountain range in Colombia.

Thumbnail Feature Premium

Challenging Airports - Nuuk, Greenland (BGGH)

With links to other towns in the country and international points beyond, the small airport at Nuuk is an essential gateway to the region.

Thumbnail Feature Premium

Challenging Airports - Saint-Tropez, La Mole (LFTZ)

In the south of France, the sun-drenched shores of Saint-Tropez is the point of entry for the rich and famous that will take helicopter transfers to their private yachts moored offshore.

Subscribe to Key.Aero

Become a part of our aviation community and subscribe to Key.Aero now. You can get all the aviation information you'll ever need, whenever you want, with access to all the latest aviation updates, news, events and more.