The folks at Airfarewatchdog released a list Thursday of what the online travel website considers the 10 scariest airports in the U.S. I was surprised to see airports right in my backyard -- Orange County, San Diego and Catalina Island -- included.
I don't regularly fly in or out of these Southland airports (I've never flown to Catalina) and I realize this is all subjective, but certainly I would have heard these claims before? I'm hoping fliers will weigh in and set me straight, but first, here's the list:
--Aspen/Pitkin County Airport in Aspen, Colo.
--John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana
--Midway International Airport in Chicago
--Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport in Sitka, Alaska
--Yeager Airport in Charleston, W.V.
--San Diego International Airport in San Diego
--LaGuardia Airprt in New York City
--Catalina Airport in Avalon
--Telluride Regional Airport in Telluride, Colo.
--Reagan National Airport inWashington, D.C.
To be fair, these aren't places deemed unsafe by the Federal Aviation Authority or other regulatory body. Rather, these are places that for geographic or other reasons make for heart-pounding landings or takeoffs (depending on your own personal scare meter).
Case in point: Airfarewatchdog says takeoffs at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana have been "likened to both a ballistic missile and a space shuttle liftoff. Due to strict noise reduction requirements, pilots must ascend at full throttle and then abruptly cut back their engines." (The airport also made the scariest airports in the world list two years ago by sister site SmarterTravel.)