For pilots, some airports are just more difficult to fly into than others—whether it’s thanks to uneven terrain, weird flight path restrictions, or even just short runways; a recent study by Honeywell shows the top ten hardest airports to fly a jet into, and the company is developing tools to make it easier.
Forty-one percent of airline accidents and incidents happen on or close to the runway—and some airports raise that percentage, like San Diego and its mountainous terrain, Washington D.C.’s flight path restrictions, and LaGuardia’s short runways. Honeywell Aerospace recently used test pilots to fly into airports across the country, compiling a list of the top ten most challenging airports to fly into.
The top ten most difficult airports per Honeywell’s ranking are:
1. Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (Aspen, CO)
2. Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (Bullhead City, AZ)
3. Bert Mooney Airport (Butte, MT)
4. Yellowstone Regional Airport (Cody, WY)
5. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Washington D.C.)
6. Juneau International Airport (Juneau, AK)
7. LaGuardia Airport (Queens, NY)
8. Mammoth Yosemite Airport (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
9. San Diego International Airport (San Diego, CA)
10. Telluride Regional Airport (Telluride, CO)
The company, though, is working to make these airports—and landing at any airport—a little less difficult. It recently released an iPad app for pilots that helps them prepare for difficult landings and provides weather updates in real time. There are also apps that show the flight path in bad weather, and ones that predict turbulence before it happens.
“As technology evolves, the quality of their ride will improve,” Honeywell test pilot Nate Turner told Conde Nast Traveler. “It will make for a smoother flight.”