Almost every city of a decent size has an airport. While some airports are very airport looking, others look nothing like airports. Here’s a list of the world’s most unique airports:
1. Kansai International Airport, Japan
Japan Kansai airport near Osaka came with the hefty price tag of $20billion: since there was no land that could be used for an airport near the city, the authorities created an island made from landfill of 21 million cubic meters of rock excavated from nearby mountains. The airport is as close to invincible as is humanly possible.
2. Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar
The unique feature in this airport is that the main landing strip of the planes passes through the main street of the city. Vehicles are made to stop every time an aircraft lands or takes off.
3. Madeira International Airport, Portugal
Located on the island of Madeira (Portugal), this international airport has a short runway (just 1,400 meters before it was doubled in 2003) and is surrounded by ocean from the one side and high mountains from another.
4. Ice Runway, Antarctica
The Ice Runway is the principal runway for the US Antarctic Program during the summer Antarctic field season due to its proximity to McMurdo Station. This runway is capable of handling giant planes. The annual sea-ice runway is constructed at the start of each season and is used until early December when the sea ice begins to break up. Pilots landing cargo aircraft on the sea ice runway report that the surface is stable.
5. Courchevel International Airport, France
Getting to the iconic ski resort of Courchevel requires navigating the formidable French Alps before making a hair-raising landing at Courchevel International Airport. The runway is about 1700 feet long, but the real surprise is the large hill toward the middle of the strip.
6. Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Maarten
Due to a short runway and being extremely close to the shore, the airport is known for having giant jets fly over Maho Beach just 10-20 meters over the heads of the tourists laying on the beach.
7. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Netherlands Antilles
It is located on one side by high hills and at both runway ends cliffs drop into the sea. Additionally, the runway at the airport is relatively short (400m) which creates a slightly higher risk for landing and takeoff.
8. Barra Airport, Scotland
he airport is unique, being the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway. The beach is set out with three runways in a triangle, marked by permanent wooden poles at their ends which almost always allows the Twin Otters planes to land into the wind. At high tide these runways are under the sea: flight times vary with the tide.
9. Toncontín International Airport, Honduras
The runway is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains and there’s only one way in and one way out for the planes, which increases the risk dramatically. Despite these high-risk factors, planes as large as Boeing 757’s land at the airport on a daily basis.
10. Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Maldives
The airport serving the Maldivian capital Male is one of the few airports in the world that takes up an entire island – the runway is surrounded on all sides by water.