BUSINESS SUPPLEMENTS TRAVEL

Unusual taking off and landing experiences in the world

Almost everybody loves to travel around the world to experience different cultures, habits , panoramas and mostly a different lifestyle .

Well , the list below is about an aspect which is not taken in consideration so much , airports , and not all the airports , but the ones which will really give your trip some extra awesome and, sometimes, breathtaking  experiences.

 

Princess Juliana International Airport ( SXM ) , Saint Martin Island

 

Perhaps one of the most fascinating airports in the world, Princess Juliana Airport (photo) ,situated on the little Caribbean Island of Saint Martin , brings its tourists some of the most interesting flight experiences they could get.

Situated on the Dutch part of the island (the French one has a regional airport) and near Maho Beach , the little airport with a runway having a length of little over 2 kilometers , forces the planes to get very close to the ground before touchdown , giving the people staying on the beach the impression of being able to touch them.

However some of the things which made this airport very popular were the take-offs, which were making tourist to get out of the little ” tornado ” being made by the powerful engines blowing straight to them.

Regardless of it being a very small airport , you could fly to Saint Martin from a very big number of airports around the world , from almost all over the East Coast of the United States and Canada to Amsterdam or Paris with a different number of airlines.

 

Gibraltar International Airport ( GIB ) ,  British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar

 

Situated on the little British Territory, this airport has something quite unique that can’t be found in other places, that having a street almost perpendicular  on its runway which allows cars to cross it exactly like train tracks .

Winston Churchill Avenue (the road which also heads towards the border with Spain) has to be closed every time a plane takes-off or lands , the cars having to wait in line for a couple of minutes until the barriers open again .

The numbers of airports which have flights connected with Gibraltar International Airport is not that big. The cities you could fly directly to Gibraltar from are London, Manchester , Bristol

(England) and Tangier and Casablanca (Morocco) .

 

Don Muang International Airport (DMK) , Bangkok , Thailand

 

Being the oldest airport in Asia , Don Muang International airport began operating commercial flights in 1924 , after 10 years of being a base for the Royal Thai Air Force.photo2

This airport is very fascinating to a lot of people not for its age , but for its 18-hole golf course situated in the middle of its 2 runways .

Being also owned by the Royal Thai Air Force , locals , and most important , tourists can have some unforgettable memories while playing golf below the flying jets surrounding them. The tax for entering the club is equivalent to an airport departure tax , but the 2000 THB (which can buy you even some extra things than only the basics for a golf game)  are worth it until the last penny.

Now , the airport has connections only with the Asian countries , because its flights moved to the new international airport in Bangkok , but it’s for sure that travelling to another city/country is not the main reason some people go there.

 

Barra Airport (BRR) , Scotland , United Kingdom

 

As the list goes further , the levels of uniqueness break the limit. Barra Airport , situated on the little island of Barra in the  Outer Hebrides, Scotland , doesn’t actually have a runway . How is that possible ? Well , all the planes coming to this airport have to land in the beach. The airport encounters an approximate number of 1000 flights a year, but having a runway made of sand can create some difficulties , the biggest one being that nothing can land while it is being washed by the tide .

The only city you can fly to Barra from is Glasgow , Scotland , but the things this island can offer you are worth traveling thousands of miles.

 

Courchevel International Airport (CVF) , Courchevel, France

 

Being more an altiport than an airport , the Courchevel airport is home to one of the most smallest ( 525 meters ) and most dangerous landing strips in the world . Situated in one of the most popular ski resort in the world , this altiport is not the first choice tourists make to reach this destination mostly because you can only fly there with small planes (Cesnas) and helicopters , which don’t fit the best an ideal trip for some people , and also because the way to landing on the runway with a 18.6% gradient is a very big challenge even for the most trained pilots . The mountains surrounding the town , and the ski slopes , being meters away of the airport are the biggest obstacles .

As mentioned above , flying to Courchevel is not easy at all . There is no commercial airline operating flights to the little altiport and because of the circumstances , there will not be any soon.

 

King Fahd International Airport (DMM) , Dammam , Saudi Arabia

 

King Fahd Airport is the airport which occupies the biggest area of land in the world . With a staggering area of 780 square kilometers ( biggest than its neighbour , Bahrain ) the relatively new airport can offer its tourist plenty of features to make their vacation better  , but the thing which makes it unique is the enormous mosque belonging to it .

Being able to receive over 2000 worshipers , it becomes more unique by having a special terminal crafted for the Royal Saudi Family. However the King Fahd International Airport is a very clear reflection of the culture and life in the Gulf , introducing its tourists to what they are to encounter in their vacation .You can fly to Dammam from all over the Gulf , big European cities ( Amsterdam , Frankfurt) and countries of western Asia (Pakistan , India , Philippines).

 

Tenzing Hillary Airport (LUA), Lukla , Nepal

 

photo4Situated in an isolated province of Nepal, in the town where people wanting to reach the Everest Mountain start their way to the top , this little airport has been ranked the most dangerous airport in the world . Because of its location, flights coming to this airport have to face an enormous number of risks , from the bad weather which could make a landing on a little runway surrounded by the most massive peaks in the world impossible to the responsibilities pilots have to take when having to land a number of passengers on a strip which has a very big gap on one of its ends .

Because of its closed location, getting there by plane is the fastest and best way to reach the town , but because of all the circumstances that made it the most dangerous airport in the world , the fainthearted are not recommended to take this trip.

 

The only places you can fly to Lukla from are Kathmandu ( Nepal’s capital )  and some little cities over the country.

 

Madeira Airport (FNC) , municipality of Santa Cruz , Madeira , Portugal

 

The Madeira Airport gained its fame from quite some unique characteristics. Being situated on the beautiful island of Madeira famous for its wines and university, the Madeira airport encountered one of the most ingenious ideas to make pilots’ life easier , namely building an additional part of its only runway with the same structure as a water-crossing bridge sustained by 180 pillars of about 70 meters high , stretching the runway to an additional 2.8 kilometers.

Tourists can reach Madeira airport from almost all the big cities in Europe (London-Gatwick , Berlin , Kiev , Amsterdam and many others)

 

Kansai International Airport (ITM), Osaka , Japan

 

Kansai International Airport is a very big reflection of the future. The island-airport took 7 years to build and 20 billion dollars to be invested into creating the most expensive airport in the world.

These outstanding features maybe are not the things which draw the most attention from people, but the fact that in a number of years it might be drown in the growing waters caused by the global warming. However this doesn’t stop this airport evolving, a new terminal wanting to be built in the near future, and most of us can rely on the Japanese making sure Kansai International stays where it is.

You can get to this airport from a wide variety of destinations , from other parts of Japan all the way to Turkey , Dubai and the United States.

 

Paro Airport (PBH) , Paro District , Bhutan

 

Having some better conditions than the Tenzing Hillary Airport in Nepal , Paro airport is also one of the most dangerous airport in the Himalayas. Being situated at an elevation of 2,235 meters  and surrounded by 5000 meters high mountains , it is has one of the hardest runways to land on , with planes being able to take off and land only during daytime and in a very good visibility.

The things which make the dangerous way worth it are the breathtaking views of the gigantic and fascinating peaks of the Himalayan Mountains.

The cities you can fly to Paro airport from are Singapore , Kathmandu , Dehli , Kolkata , Bangkok and various Asian cities .

The most unique and fascinating places in the world are home to the most unique and fascinating airports, so what are you waiting for ? Pack your bags and Bon Voyage !

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