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Some pretty interesting airport runways
1. Ice Camp Barneo, North Pole…plan this trip well in advance!
This strip, not far from the North Pole, is open for just 4 weeks each year. Built on a drifting ice base, it’s a fully functional runway, suitable for cargo planes like the Antonov AN-74.
2. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport , Saba Island
With only 1,312 ft. in length, this Caribbean island has the shortest commercial air strip on the planet.
3. Courchevel Altiport, France
This airfield high in the French Alps is a convenient yet treacherous drop-off point for wealthy skiers at the chi-chi Courchevel slopes. In fact, there are ski runs no far from the 1,762 ft (537 m) mountaintop runway. Frequent fog, snow, ice and low clouds make it even more extreme.
4. Tenzing-Hillary Airport , Nepal
If you’re planning on trekking to Mount Everest, chances are you’ll arrive via this small Nepalese airport in Lukla. It has a short runway with a 9,334 feet drop off the edge.
5. Agatti Aerodrome, Lakshadweep, India
This 4000 feet long island runway doesn’t leave much margin for error. A few more inches, and passengers are going to be swimming, sooner than they bargained for.
6. Barra Airport, Scotland
Barra is a remote island in northern Scotland, it has the only beach runway for scheduled flights in the world. At high tide, the runway maybe under water.
7. Gustaf III Airport, Saint-Barthélemy
This runway is so tiny, only planes with a maximum of 20 people can land here. That helps keep St. Barts an exclusive upscale Caribbean haven for the rich and famous.
8. Kansai International Airport, Japan
Land is at a premium in Japan so this new airport was built on an artificial island offshore in Osaka Bay. If its ocean setting doesn’t give you chills, its also regularly subjected to earthquakes, typhoons and storm surges. The island is also sinking, so its construction and constant reinforcement makes it the most expensive civil-works project in Japan’s modern history.
9. Madeira Airport, Portugal
The previous runway at this Portuguese archipelago was notoriously challenging due to it being short and surrounded by high mountains and the ocean. So it was extended with an impressive, yet frightening platform, supported by 180 columns off the edge of the land.
10. Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport
A pair of grave stones are embedded into ‘Runway 10’ at this airport, in remembrance to the Dotson Family who used to own the land. One of the graves dates back to 1857. The law states that next of kin need to authorise the moving of family graves. When the family couldn’t be located, the airport engineers let the graves remain in place.
11. Narsarsuaq Airport , Greenland
This airport in NZ ’s capital has a short runway and is known for turbulent landings due to the channeling effect of the Cook Strait, creating very gusty winds.
12. Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Maarten
This airport, on the Dutch side of Saint Martin, is right across the street from Maho Beach. It is well known for its extremely low-altitude landing approaches and tourists flock here to experience the ‘rush’ of the planes overhead. Definitely one of the craziest airport-runways. You have to see it to believe it – and the noise! After recent hurricane “Irma”, the airport – and the entire island – were badly damaged.
13. Gisborne Airport, New Zealand
This North Island airport is one of the few in the world that has a railway line running through its runway. Both the railway and the airport are active, so lets hope they are up precise about their scheduling.