Worst Airport in the World?

World's worst airport


  • Total voters
    14

Sexton Blake

Old-Salt
Dakar airport for me.

Had to overnight there in 1988 on our way by C130 to sunny Cameroon (Bamenda airport to be precise).

At Dakar the ac Cap asked for 2 volunteers to stay onboard and 'guard' the C130 for $50 each. That was a fair amount for a LCpl in 1988! So me and a mucker thought 'fcuk it, why not' will save us a massive hangover for the next leg the following day as the rest set off to a hotel.

What a fcuking mistake. No chance of getting all comfy on the flight deck as the heat (greenhouse effect) was unbearable. No power down the back so pitch black. Open the para doors you say? Fcuk off! Instant invasion of more weird flying things then I have ever seen before.

Walk over to the terminal you say? No chance, it was miles away and there were all manner of 'locals' getting too close to the Herc to have a nose. Thought I ought to earn my $50 properly by playing the white man game.

Oh how we laughed as we sat for almost 24 hours eating left over in-flight rations and warm water in our underpants.
 
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Sexton Blake

Old-Salt
By the way (as previously mentioned) if this tread develops into the Worst Train Station in the World then mine would be Paris Gare du Nord.

There must be more pickpockets openly working that place then actual passengers! . Due to a previous job I was often passing through there and the Police couldn't care less of the activities of the local 'diverse and vibrant' community.
 
Dakar airport for me.

Had to overnight there in 1988 on our way by C130 to sunny Cameroon (Bamenda airport to be precise).

At Dakar the ac Cap asked for 2 volunteers to stay onboard and 'guard' the C130 for $50 each. That was a fair amount for a LCpl in 1988! So me and a mucker thought 'fcuk it, why not' will save us a massive hangover for the next leg the following day as the rest set off to a hotel.

What a fcuking mistake. No chance of getting all comfy on the flight deck as the heat (greenhouse effect) was unbearable. No power down the back so pitch black. Open the para doors you say? Fcuk off! Instant invasion of more weird flying things then I have ever seen before.

Walk over to the terminal you say? No chance, it was miles away and there were all manner of 'locals' getting too close to the Herc to have a nose. Thought I ought to earn my $50 properly by playing the white man game.

Oh how we laughed as we sat for almost 24 hours eating left over in-flight rations and warm water in our underpants.
Builds character. Made a man of you, didn't it missus...?
 
To prevent more thread deviation, I think I'll start a "My worst flight ever/worst journey" thread.
 
As a mere tourist, my experiences of third world airports are limited compared to some of the war stories on this thread, stories which I have enjoyed TBF.

My list.

Dominican Republic 20 odd years ago. Terminal was a wooden shack, live chickens etc, stinking, bedlam type shitehole. All staff seemed to be dressed in USAF surplus, busses were old US school buses & our on board escort from airport to resort wore two ivory handled six shooters & carried what looked like an MP40 although I very much doubt was.

Resort was great, Mexican owned small town like place, but outside was ropey.

next up, Naples about 5 years ago, arrivals was a hanger. Departure not much better although resembled an airport.

Shout out fit Manchester too, utter fcuking gopping nightmare of a place. Utter nightmare to get to. Cramped, smelly/dirty, staff with all the charismas of amoeba’s. It is always my last resort airport of choice. You know it’s been abad day if flying Ryanair out of a Manchester.....

Finally a shout out to Munich, best airport I’ve ever been in, I’ve been going to & from for the last 15 years or so. Runs with old fashioned ruthless Germanic efficiency, spotlessly clean, plenty to do whilst waiting, I actually enjoy the experience.
 
It seems Lagos is a leading contender...

During the landing on runway 19R, on which there were stacks of asphalt and gashes in the surface, the report says that the aircraft’s left main wing gear was ripped off, the centre main gear was severely damaged, and the aircraft slewed left with its No 1 engine in contact with the surface until the nosewheel came to rest in a drainage ditch. Tower called: “Hydro Cargo 501, your position?” The 747’s flightcrew replied: “You cleared us to land on a runway that was closed.”

 
Yup, they'd queried it a few times on the way in as it had been NOTAMed and were told it was OK to land there. Apparently the controller left the tower and did a runner after the crash, and was nowhere to be found. Not sure if he eventually surfaced but there was a rumour doing the rounds he was paid to do it to get rid of the opposition by one of the local outfits.

A bloke I used to skydive with was flying for them at the time. Not sure if he was on board.

It also made my CV with the company kind of moot.
 

O Zangado

War Hero
Yup. It was also quite badly run down though, before being restored. We used to stay at the Cardoso. Their fishcakes were bloody brilliant, with huge chunks of ameijoa, fresh swordfish, prawns and mussels.

Also, sardines on the braai with a beer on the beach.
 

Wee Hawken

Swinger
In its day PH was reckoned to be beautiful - not many who would say that any more.
Yes: the "Garden City "apparently - lol. PHC airport has to be among the worst. It got better when the old one burnt down and was rebuilt, but somehow the money, er, "ran out" and the arrivals hall was a tent for a good few years.

In the olden days, the international departures side was a byword for rampant venality and corruption - even by local/regional standards. Only used by those sufficiently desperate to avoid a transfer in Lagos at all costs.

Better however than Juba - which is only a tent and nothing else. Bamako last year was surprisingly pleasant and stress-free and far exceeded my (admittedly modest) expectations.

All of these however at least have a runway...

Gondar (Ethiopia) in the 90s was just a small wooden shack and a gravel strip with rather more aircraft wreckage than one might have wished for. But, unlike the city, not entirely festooned in turds so it could have been worse.
 
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ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
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Last pic for @Oyibo giving some idea of what the Mighty Twotter can do. This type of strip is a breeze and she hardly notices it's not a prepared surface.

PC12? I shit 'em.
 
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Bazaruto.
Bob Dylan wrote his song Mozambique there.
Hotel management want to use that fact to attract Dylan fans to visit.
Always preferred Magaruque. Now called Paradise island for the great unwashed mobs of turistas. Less commercial at the time and maybe still is.

Bazaruto is where Costa, the Greek bloke who might have pulled another poster's German mate out of Lubumbashi, killed himself and a new cojoe. Costa was a bit of a loon, yet his brother is a stable airline oriented bloke and is/was with SAA.
 

Sexton Blake

Old-Salt
To prevent more thread deviation, I think I'll start a "My worst flight ever/worst journey" thread.
Hey, that sounds like a really super idea. Perhaps you can sort out the 99% of slight thread deviation on all the other threads here.

In the meantime I will flog myself for having the nerve to post a (only just mildly amusing I grant thee) dit related to the 'worst airport' I feel in the world.
 
They still run a freight train from Pointe Noire to Brazza in the Republic of Congo.
When I first saw it I was taken aback as there were all these blokes welding the freight carriages, I naively thought they were fixing them until it was pointed out that they were welding the doors shut, otherwise there would be feck all left by the time it got to Brazza.
PN is nice if you like small monkeys..............you can have them fried or boiled.
 
It sounds like it has become quite an unpleasant place. I first went there in 1979 when it was an untidy but fascinating city. Dhows were built in the traditional manner at the southern end opposite the Queen's Building, with salt being gathered on the flats nearby. There were only a couple of small shopping malls, the Corniche was a few years down the road and no Chinese it was all S. Koreans.

I was last in Jeddah in 2000, it had much more than quadrupled in area but was not as dilapidated as you describe. No wish to go back, ever.
Hang on to your memories and your desire never to return. No need to thanks me.;)
 
First time I flew into Mana pools, hired a local , young man . Not too expensive, flew there from Vic falls , I was with two UK uni students who were doing some field work in a Gold mine. Had a few nice trips there as well.

Anyway as we got in the “ some small Cessna type” Young pilot asks how much we weighed. Knowing a little but they said 9, 10 stone I said oh 11 . So got to sit next to him .

On arriving in Mana, he did a couple of very close touch and goes before we landed. I even took a picture as I though WTF.

On landing , asking why he did that?

Oh to scare off the animals as hitting anything moving tends to spoil you trip.

As an airport goes , a strip in the Bush with a few barrels full of Avgas and a hand pump is a bit different.
Not just small airports; I came across a rather nonplussed alligator on a taxiway at Orlando McCoy. S/he’d bimbled out onto the hot tarmac as the evening cooled and was pretty clear that 300kg of prehistoric reptile had precedence over 100+T of 21st century technology. Who am I to argue?

Cletus came out in his 4x4 and tried to shift my new friend but sensibly stayed in the vehicle so matey opened one eye and fucked the human race off. I was starting to fret a bit as we were burning fuel and starting to eat into our reserves and the only way to solve the impasse was for me to get towed backwards onto another taxiway, 3 point turns not being in The Big Book of Flying Big Things.

By this time, half the cabin crew were on the flight deck videoing proceedings, giggling and offering general advice based on how they stopped next door’s cat shitting in their flower beds. For comic affect (and in the absence of any better ideas), my FO opened the side window and shouted “shoo”.

It would appear that the best way of shifting recalcitrant alligators that are close to bringing major international airports to a standstill is to shout “shoo” at it.

Mr/s Ambulatory Posh Luggage duly sauntered off into the drainage channel and the modern world resumed normal service.
 
This must be one of the best threads on ARRSE. Informative, sometimes amusing, and often f*cking scary.
 
Not just small airports; I came across a rather nonplussed alligator on a taxiway at Orlando McCoy. S/he’d bimbled out onto the hot tarmac as the evening cooled and was pretty clear that 300kg of prehistoric reptile had precedence over 100+T of 21st century technology. Who am I to argue?

Cletus came out in his 4x4 and tried to shift my new friend but sensibly stayed in the vehicle so matey opened one eye and fucked the human race off. I was starting to fret a bit as we were burning fuel and starting to eat into our reserves and the only way to solve the impasse was for me to get towed backwards onto another taxiway, 3 point turns not being in The Big Book of Flying Big Things.

By this time, half the cabin crew were on the flight deck videoing proceedings, giggling and offering general advice based on how they stopped next door’s cat shitting in their flower beds. For comic affect (and in the absence of any better ideas), my FO opened the side window and shouted “shoo”.

It would appear that the best way of shifting recalcitrant alligators that are close to bringing major international airports to a standstill is to shout “shoo” at it.

Mr/s Ambulatory Posh Luggage duly sauntered off into the drainage channel and the modern world resumed normal service.
I would have thought that being in merica, a few well placed 30.06 would have done the job nicely.
 

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