Maho beach near Princess Juliana International Airport. Jaromir Chalabala / Shutterstock

Only the most highly qualified pilots are able to handle the harrowing runways at some airports across the world, traversing mountains, sand and even ice.

Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport, known for an approach that required planes to skim over apartment buildings to land on a runway that protruded into the harbor, closed in 1998 to make way for a bigger, much-easier-to-maneuver airport. However, many other airports infamous for difficult landings and fatal accidents are still in use today.

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