Strange & Interesting Airports Around The World

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I love that feeling in my stomach when the plane lifts off the ground and also when it lands again on the runway. However, I’m not so sure how I would feel if I was ever to land on any of these airports…

Today I will be sharing some of the most crazy, and dangerous airports from around the world.

Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar

Gibraltar airport runway Crazy Airports
Gibraltar airport runway Crazy Airports

This airport, 500 meters from the city center (!) has a landing strip which begins already out in the ocean with water on both sides.

But what’s really crazy about this airport is that the landing and departure runway intersects with the city’s MAIN road where people and cars constantly use.

Whenever a plane lands or departs, the street has to be closed off.

Lukla Airport, Nepal

How about a mountain on one side of the runway and a thousand meter drop on the other?

Lukla is the place where most people start their trek to climb Mt Everest, so I guess the guys who land here aren’t exactly afraid of heights or mountains…

BARRA Airport SCOTLAND Crazy airports
BARRA Airport SCOTLAND Crazy airports

Wellington, New Zealand

How about landing in “Windy Wellington”?

The airport is called “wild at heart” for a reason, which can be a little scary when landing on such a short landing runway and such strong winds..

Barra Airport, Scotland

Not so much crazy, as cool – this is one of the only airports in the world where planes actually land on a beach.

As the airport must be among the most “natural” in the world, it’s “naturally” lit (by the sun) during the day and a few cars are parked on the parking lot with their lights on during night time to add some “extra” visibility, and the airport is literally washed away by the tide once a day.

Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Martin

Like to sniff some jet exhaust and relax in your sunbed to the soothing sounds of airplanes landing and departing?

Here you will find people swimming, sunbathing and hanging out on the beach, watching airplanes land just a few meters over their heads – this one tops it as Crazy Airports for me!

King Fahd Airport – The World’s Largest Airport

The largest airport in the world is King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia, at around 789 sq km in size, the hub has two parallel runways that are each 4,000 meters long.

The passenger terminal has six stories of which three are allocated for passenger processing.

The third level is for arrivals, the sixth level is for departures, and the fourth level is for boarding.

Juancho E Yrausquin – The World’s Smallest Airport

On the opposite end of the scale, the Juancho E Yrausquin Airport on the Caribbean island of Saba is commonly regarded as the world’s smallest airfield.

With the runway just 400 meters in length, aircraft are only permitted to use the airport upon obtaining a waiver from the Netherlands Antilles’ Civil Aviation Authority.

College Park Airport – The World’s Oldest Airport

College Park Airport – The World's Oldest Airport
College Park Airport – The World’s Oldest Airport

For a truly historic airport, there is perhaps nowhere better than College Park Airport in Maryland.

Established in 1909, this facility is recognized as the world’s oldest continually operated airport and saw Wilbur Wright (who along with his brother Orville invented and built the world’s first working airplane) train two military officers to fly the US government’s first aircraft.

Known as the ‘Cradle of Aviation’, the airport is the location for a number of historic flying achievements, including the spot where the first military mile-high flight by a powered aircraft took place in 1912, while the first controlled helicopter flight took place in 1924.

Yakutsk Airport – The World’s Coldest Airport

Visiting Yakutsk Airport in Russia will allow you to experience what could be one of the chilliest travel hubs on the planet as the city is regarded as the coldest in the world.

With the average temperature in January standing at around -39C, upon making your way through the departure lounge after arriving from the likes of Moscow and St Petersburg you will soon start to experience the extremely cold conditions.

Kuwait Airport – The World’s Hottest Airport

Kuwait International Airport is largely considered to be the world’s hottest airport, and with average July temperatures reaching a high of 45.6C – it is not hard to see why..!

Visiting any of the above airports, whether you’re arriving, departing or just on a connecting flight is sure to be a memorable part of your travel experience.

(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 1)

23 thoughts on “Strange & Interesting Airports Around The World”

  1. I had the chance to see St. Maarten’s Airport. Standing on that beach is CRAZY… you feel like one of the landing gears will chop off your head or that the engine jet power will send you flying into the ocean… lol

  2. Man that’s full on. I mean geez… that plane in the last one literally looks like you could reach out and touch it. Freaky. I’m also a little put off by the main road crossing tarmac in Gibraltar. Ugh.

    And I hate windy landings… when the plane comes in rocking to the sides like that… it just makes you so sick.

  3. What about the old Hong Kong airport – Kai Tak. That was pretty crazy. The runway was out in the middle of the habour.

    Cruise into the harbour, take a hard right towards the mountains, take a hard right (look into people’s houses) then land!

    Loved landing there though!

  4. Yeah Wellington is sometimes a crazy place – but to be honest I wasn’t nervous about flying there until after I saw this video a few years ago – even though it was often bumpy, I just thought that’s how it was meant to be :p

  5. Yeah – I also thought about that – sorry no tall people allowed at this beach :p thanks for the links – those places also seem amazing.

  6. Hey Ben, I have heard about Hong Kong – but we arrived there in the middle of the night so saw nothing, was asleep and had no idea. thanks for sharing!

  7. Yeah those three are the most crazy I think!!! – WHO thinks of putting a main road through a runaway, or a runway through a main road!?

  8. Hey Laurence, haven’t heard of that until now, so thanks for sharing. Yeah I can’t imagine having to GIVE-WAY to a plane who also feels like using the road and it’s on the beach :p

  9. agreed -.very crazy! what is the most crazy airport you guys have visited? also thanks for commenting, and sharing your great blog – I will need to add it to our travel blog directory!

  10. wow, st. marteen definitely looks crazy!! what if someone is 2m height? 😉

    i just got back from denpasar, bali, where you can spot one the islands surf spots while landing – the runway is built into the ocean as well another adrenaline landing experience can be found on mana island in fiji judging by the quality of sunflower air’s planes, it feels like a miracle not to land in the ocean directly after landing… 🙂

  11. on fraser island just off the queensland coast the sight seeing planes use the beach as a runway also. as the beach is also the main road, it is seriously disconcerting to have to move aside to let a plane land!

  12. I think it would be so soothing to land on a beach – until you had to roll your luggage through the sand.

  13. thanks Matt – haha yeah that last video is nuts – don’t think you would go to that beach to relax :p

  14. haha yeah we haven’t been there yet, but would love to go JUST to experience that – do you know if there are many accidents related to the planes landing THAT close?

  15. I think there haven’t been any accidents related to the planes landing that close. Although, recently they pushed back a 150 meters safety extension. So, now they don’t fly as low as before. But still, it is an amazing experience to stand on Maho Beach an see the planes swooshing over you.

  16. I think the Barra flight is the only scheduled flight to land on a beach in the world, but I’m happy to be corrected. It really is worth the trip if you are in that part of the world. The cockle pickers actually have to leave the beach as the planes approach, and you’ll find many people camping next to the airport as well. As for lugging your bags across the sand, there’s only about 40 feet from where the plane stops to the terminal, and a tractor quite happily takes your baggage for you 🙂

  17. not a crazy runway, but an actual crazy airport–Jose Marti in Havana, Cuba. there are fluffy, friendly Labradors and mutts running around, off-leash, as drug dogs. All the luggage is saran-wrapped to keep out thieves, but mostly the government. there’s luggage scattered four, five and six feet out from the carousel, with no way to get through any of it. and good luck leaving the airport–the exits are totally hemmed in by locals anxious to see their family. to top it off, when i was on my way in from Santiago de cuba the entire plane was smoking heavily inside–no one seemed concerned in the least!
    ~delia

  18. as if I needed more reasons, other than the environmental ones, to NOT want to fly. LOL. These are great. Such a good and interesting post.

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