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Unique Airports of the World

19 October 2022

Unique Airports of the World

"Cabin crew prepare for landing." A call that many jet-setters have heard since commercial flights became more easily accessible. Many of us would then start peering out the window as we track our flight down to the tarmac, expecting the usual cityscape or countryside followed by a large commercial airport.

But what if you saw a couple sunbathing, mere metres under the jet engines, or your runway was only a few metres long? What about the sight of a mother pushing her pram across the middle of the strip, or even noticing your rumble over a gravestone.

Fasten your belts, as takes you on a trip to unusual airports around the world.

  • Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar

You had better not be an amber gambler with the traffic lights while on the highways of Gibraltar because running that light may put you on a collision course with an aeroplane! A main highway passes through one of the country's busiest runways.

Thankfully, the days of making daring dashes across the tarmac will soon be a thing of the past as the airport is due to open an underground tunnel for road traffic. The catch? It'll only be for vehicles. You won't catch us dawdling across that zebra crossing anytime soon.

  • Barra Airport, Scotland

Serving just 14,000 passengers a year, Barra Airport, situated in the remote Outer Hebrides, is the smallest airport on our list.

What makes it even more unique is the fact that instead of your usual asphalt offering for the runway, you will be greeted with sand! Yes, this airport's runway is the actual beach. You'd better hope the tide is out!

  • Princess Juliana Airport, Saint Maarten

Sticking to the theme of beaches and probably the most iconic airport on our list, next up is the Princess Juliana Airport in the Caribbean.

Maho beach is positioned unusually close to the runway and if you're not careful, you could find yourself directly under the flight path of an incoming jumbo jet as it comes into land a mere 30 metres over your head.

  • Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba

Imagine a runway that is only 400 metres long, and flanked by sheer drops off a cliff at either end of it? No, this is not some nightmare of some poor sufferer of aerophobia. This is what will greet you at the Juancho E. Yrausquin airport.

Situated on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba, this airport was constructed in the 1960s and features the world's shortest commercial runway. You just better hope your brakes work!

  • Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, USA

Our final offering is an airport which has a peculiar story attached to it and ties in nicely with Halloween just around the corner.

Handling over 2.4 million domestic passengers a year, this airport was originally constructed in WWII to help with the war effort. After deciding to expand its purpose it branched into commercial flights shortly after the war and plans were put together to build further runways.

However, on one of the pieces of land it acquired was a private cemetery featuring over 100 graves. Eventually coming to an agreement with the family, most of the graves were relocated to a different cemetery but the original owners of the land, Richard and Catherine Dotson, along with two other close relatives' gravestones, were left behind. The family argued that the couple wouldn't want to leave the land they helped cultivate.

You can find their gravestones on the edge of runways 10 and 28 and supposedly, pilots and staff talk about seeing the two figures near the edge of the runway just after sunset.

Visit our Airfields and Locations pages on the FlyDays website to view all of our destinations we have available to book Flying Experiences at across the UK.

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