Worst Airport in the World?

World's worst airport


  • Total voters
    14
There was some kind of diamond strike in Western Zaire last I was there ( some time back) but the stones were being shipped/smuggled across the Rwanda border and Zaire wasn’t getting its cut.

There was a big fuss in the west when it came out and such stones were dramatically called “blood diamonds” for a while as though this was a new and shocking thing. Quite a lot of white middle class people got on the outrage bus as you may remember.

World champion kleptocrat and all round uttershit Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire and it’s main reason for the total destitution of its population, decided to send in the Zairois army, a more useless gang of rag tag military clowns you have yet to see, to ensure he got his just dues.

The cunning plan didn’t work of course. The army deserted en masse instantly, sold its rifles, bought shovels and started digging.

“T.I.A.” As we used to say: This Is Africa.
Driving around Botswana , pre sat nav using a very good map from I think a Shell petrol station. We were trying to get to the park in Orapa. Drove up the wrong road to one of the big diamond mines, maybe Damtasaa. Bit of a brown trouser moment when a load of chaps ran out with guns.
 

Oyibo

LE
Kinshasa will forever be 'Kin-shiter to me
You lie sir. This was Kinshasa International last year. Perfectly normal, and far more civilised than Luton:

1596993073082.png


Things did turn a bit sporting after I took the photo.
 
Driving around Botswana , pre sat nav using a very good map from I think a Shell petrol station. We were trying to get to the park in Orapa. Drove up the wrong road to one of the big diamond mines, maybe Damtasaa. Bit of a brown trouser moment when a load of chaps ran out with guns.
My chaps there latterly (at Damtshaa, one of the three mines in a Debswana 'unit', including Orapa and Letlhakane ) didn't have guns, and were as nice a bunch of blokes/esses as you could wish for. The Police did, though, and so did the Park people. We had all sorts of poaching problems, and they were quite robust sometimes on the subject. You were clearly a suspicious sort, and I would have backed them up on any action they might have taken.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
You lie sir. This was Kinshasa International last year. Perfectly normal, and far more civilised than Luton:

View attachment 495773

Things did turn a bit sporting after I took the photo.
Far more civilised than Luton - yep, i'll give you that one!
You don't get that at Tenkodogo though, probably my favourite least worst airport in dark Africa - if only because we had much needed cargo flown in and we got most of it! (I have to confess it was packed so the 'Magpees' would take certain items and leave the rest) - but that's Africa for you.
 
Karibu Africa (or Tanzania, Kenya etc if you want to be geographically specific)

Give me money, Mzungu.
 
Orca Air left tracks similar to that after the silly crunt driving it landed at the wrong end of the wrong runway. No more Vancouver Island west coast for Mrs S after that one!
We chucked the punters off, loaded the lot going out, fired up, turned round and buggered off as normal, albeit with a slightly longer take off roll.

The Mighty Twotter eats that shit up with a spoon.


ETA: The best thing to ever come out of Canada.
 
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We chucked the punters off, loaded the lot going out, fired up, turned round and buggered off as normal, albeit with a slightly longer take off roll.
The Mighty Twotter eats that shit up with a spoon.
ETA: The best thing to ever come out of Canada.
Not on my recommendation (I wouldn't know whether a tractor or dinky toy tyre was suitable for a Citation or not) but on the incumbent Captain's, who when I innocently asked during a Quarterly Business Report meeting whether it would be capable of taking our VP out of the mine site to any nearby airstrip for safety in the event of unhappiness at the Mauritania mine, responded that it would probably not be. Thoughtful expression on the VP's mug. A few days later, it was flown back to Shitkickersville in Canada for a major upgrade of the landing gear, to include big rubber, bouncy springs and fück-off shocks. It reappeared a couple of weeks later, looking a bit wobbly, but good to get me direct to Kumasi from Las Palmas, instead of a round-trip through Europe to Ghana on commercial airlines. So dreary, dear.
 
There was some kind of diamond strike in Western Zaire last I was there ( some time back) but the stones were being shipped/smuggled across the Rwanda border and Zaire wasn’t getting its cut.

There was a big fuss in the west when it came out and such stones were dramatically called “blood diamonds” for a while as though this was a new and shocking thing. Quite a lot of white middle class people got on the outrage bus as you may remember.

World champion kleptocrat and all round uttershit Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire and it’s main reason for the total destitution of its population, decided to send in the Zairois army, a more useless gang of rag tag military clowns you have yet to see, to ensure he got his just dues.

The cunning plan didn’t work of course. The army deserted en masse instantly, sold its rifles, bought shovels and started digging.

“T.I.A.” As we used to say: This Is Africa.
You could make a film out of that dit!
 
Does Toronto count as First World? I've ******* loathed it for 40 odd years now.

Third World, Cairo was surprisingly nice when I passed through it 10 or so years ago, Luxor and Hurgada are horrible.
Hurgada around the year 2000... you would think a civil war was under way. Trashed migs/Hips off the runways and an arrival Lounge out of wild geese. To be honest, It wasn’t just the airport. Once away from the harbor/town center there seemed to be a good chance of being chopped up and left in the desert.
 
Marriott turned the old Speke (Liverpool) airport into a really nice hotel, stayed there a few times when it first opened. Had an old postal service aircraft from 1930s outside front and a prototype business jet out back that could be used for business meetings. Don't know who took over after Marriott, but gone downhill, the back is basically an aircraft junkyard, includes a Gloster Meteor (will photograph it next time am up)

Alas, the current site for John Lennon Airport is in keeping with the locality

View attachment 495538
its now a crowne plaza - the plane out front was a replica of a dragon rapide- the local rag did a story as it is no longer there. Mores the shame as it was a beauty
 
We chucked the punters off, loaded the lot going out, fired up, turned round and buggered off as normal, albeit with a slightly longer take off roll.

The Mighty Twotter eats that shit up with a spoon.


ETA: The best thing to ever come out of Canada.
I would argue the toss on that one that the Beaver has it beat. If only because whilst watching a documentary with the now ex-wife I was able to comment ‘Nice Beaver’ and get away with only a small explanation.
 
Mentioned earlier in this thread about my dad working in the Ivory Coast in the late 70’s (a former time served boiler maker who found work out there when they were building sugar refinaries).

I had a chat with him earlier this evening - at that time Abidjan was very efficient and quite a pleasant airport to fly out of. Possibly because the French were still pulling the strings and keeping things running. Up country Bouake and Korhogo were rather more ‘provincial‘ in nature. Basically just strips hacked out of the scrub of the sort that @Lardbeast would be familiar with.

Interestingly he managed not long ago to chat up a very attractive lass from the Côte d’Ivoire from the simple fact he knew of the existence of Ferkessédougou. Not bad considering he is 78, 30 years older than I and the lass was a fair few years younger than I am. I hope that I am a chip off that block.
 
Not on my recommendation (I wouldn't know whether a tractor or dinky toy tyre was suitable for a Citation or not) but on the incumbent Captain's, who when I innocently asked during a Quarterly Business Report meeting whether it would be capable of taking our VP out of the mine site to any nearby airstrip for safety in the event of unhappiness at the Mauritania mine, responded that it would probably not be. Thoughtful expression on the VP's mug. A few days later, it was flown back to Shitkickersville in Canada for a major upgrade of the landing gear, to include big rubber, bouncy springs and fück-off shocks. It reappeared a couple of weeks later, looking a bit wobbly, but good to get me direct to Kumasi from Las Palmas, instead of a round-trip through Europe to Ghana on commercial airlines. So dreary, dear.
Was the place the upgrade was done in British Columbia? Viking Air bought all the de Havilland Canada assets from Bombardier and manufacture the Twin Otter plus service all the other DHC products. The cockpit of the current model Twin Otter would probably make Lardbeast weep, with the modern screens and electronics.

Older Otters can be upgraded to a turboprop, replacing the big radial. They have also talked about putting an upgraded version of the Buffalo back into production. They also took over the Canadair water bombers, and make those as well.

The big tires are commonly called "tundra tires", although there's a more formal name for them that I can't recall. I've flown in Otters, Twin Otters, and Beavers, mainly float plane versions, being taken to and from mining exploration jobs. We would get dropped off at a lake in the morning with our gear and picked up at the end of the day.

The pilots are amazing in how they can position the planes at the shore of a lake so you can jump off the floats onto shore without getting your feet wet. They can judge it finely enough to drift into shore, turn the plane, and come to a stop before they could hit the rocks. They had paddles to manoeuvre close to shore, but I don't recall ever seeing them need them unless it was windy. If it was me driving I'm pretty sure I would have crashed into the rocks and sunk the plane.

I don't have any tales of bad airports I'm afraid, but then my expectations tend to revolve around how quickly I can pass through them.
 

Oyibo

LE
Mentioned earlier in this thread about my dad working in the Ivory Coast in the late 70’s (a former time served boiler maker who found work out there when they were building sugar refinaries).

I had a chat with him earlier this evening - at that time Abidjan was very efficient and quite a pleasant airport to fly out of. Possibly because the French were still pulling the strings and keeping things running. Up country Bouake and Korhogo were rather more ‘provincial‘ in nature. Basically just strips hacked out of the scrub of the sort that @Lardbeast would be familiar with.

Interestingly he managed not long ago to chat up a very attractive lass from the Côte d’Ivoire from the simple fact he knew of the existence of Ferkessédougou. Not bad considering he is 78, 30 years older than I and the lass was a fair few years younger than I am. I hope that I am a chip off that block.
It's great hearing from the old and bold how things were in the 'good old, bad old days'.

I have the sneaking suspicion that they put up with far worse conditions for the most part but were less snowflakey than the likes of me.
 
Was the place the upgrade was done in British Columbia? Viking Air bought all the de Havilland Canada assets from Bombardier and manufacture the Twin Otter plus service all the other DHC products. The cockpit of the current model Twin Otter would probably make Lardbeast weep, with the modern screens and electronics.

Older Otters can be upgraded to a turboprop, replacing the big radial. They have also talked about putting an upgraded version of the Buffalo back into production. They also took over the Canadair water bombers, and make those as well.

The big tires are commonly called "tundra tires", although there's a more formal name for them that I can't recall. I've flown in Otters, Twin Otters, and Beavers, mainly float plane versions, being taken to and from mining exploration jobs. We would get dropped off at a lake in the morning with our gear and picked up at the end of the day.

The pilots are amazing in how they can position the planes at the shore of a lake so you can jump off the floats onto shore without getting your feet wet. They can judge it finely enough to drift into shore, turn the plane, and come to a stop before they could hit the rocks. They had paddles to manoeuvre close to shore, but I don't recall ever seeing them need them unless it was windy. If it was me driving I'm pretty sure I would have crashed into the rocks and sunk the plane.

I don't have any tales of bad airports I'm afraid, but then my expectations tend to revolve around how quickly I can pass through them.
I sit in the filthy things, with a gin and tonic, and occasionally a prawn salad, and expect them to deliver me safely, expeditiously and elegantly to my destination. I do not soil my fingers with their workings.

(Edit: in the far past, unlettered crablike people threw me out of them - at altitude - in a brutal manner, clearly against my wishes, incurring my eternal wrath and vows of vengeance. My time will come.)
 
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its now a crowne plaza - the plane out front was a replica of a dragon rapide- the local rag did a story as it is no longer there. Mores the shame as it was a beauty
That aircraft (replica) was recoloured and is falling apart out the back of the airport (hotel). Will take pictures and post it here tomorrow
 
Lat Am in general does not even come close to African standards of sh1tty airports. Some are a little basic (flying 727s into gravel strips in the jungle is probably not for the faint-hearted)- and Venezuela in particular is characterised by some menacing and unpleasant policemen - but there is none of the utter chaos and mayhem that makes African aviation such an unappealing prospect.
That was my experience of Venezuela as well, 30 years ago.
Caracas Airport was modern and clean, the 727 onto a jungle strip in Puerto Ayocoucho near the Columbian border was .., odd.
Crossing State lines by vehicle did require a few USD bribe for the soldier to raise the barrier. Just do it with a smile and a ' Good day to you !'

There was a lot of guns around and life appeared to be very cheap. Was in a bbq - style eaterie in town which was held up at gunpoint !
 

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