Except for the nervous flyers, everyone wishes for a window seat while flying so as to enjoy the view while the plane descends to the runway. However, most of the airport runways today have bustling cities as their surroundings leaving not much difference amongst themselves. We here list 10 beautifully located airport runways that will give you the most scenic sights as the airplane touches down.
BARRA BEACH AIRPORT, SCOTLAND
A short runway located on the island of Barra in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. Placed in the bay of Traigh Mhòr, the Barra Beach Airport where a tidal beach is used as a runway for landing and take off. The flights have to be scheduled as per the tides since the runways are under the water at least once during the day. The view as you approach it is that of Scotland’s stunning coast. Both thrilling and beautiful, one should keep their eyes open when landing or taking off from such a runway.
WILKINS RUNWAY, ANTARCTICA
Named after Sir Hubert Wilkins an explorer of the continent and the developer of Antarctic aviation, Wilkins Runaway is a single strip that is operated by Australia. It’s located on an upper glacier of an ice sheet in the Wilkes Land. The sole runway in the entire continent, it’s a captivating sight when the plane lands amidst the ice. However, it’s out of reach for tourists and only scientists are allowed to use it.
VELANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, MALDIVES
Initially named as Hulhulé Airport, this is the main International aviation service in the Maldives. Since it is well connected to other airports around the world it serves as the most-used aviation facility by tourists. It is located on Hulhulé Island which is nearby the capital island of Malé. As we know, that Maldives is an archipelago lying in the Indian Ocean, a plane approaching the Velana International Airport gives you a breathtaking view of the entire cluster of islands.
LONDON CITY AIRPORT, ENGLAND
The international airport is situated on the Royal Docks at the London Borough of Newham and lies about 7 miles i.e. 11 km from the east of London city. The view that one beholds while descending to the runway is similar to the view from the top of the London Eye. One can have a glimpse at the clock tower of Big Ben, Thames River, and even the 2012 Olympic Park.
QUEENSTOWN AIRPORT, NEW ZEALAND
It serves the town of Queensland and lies 8 km away from the town in Frankton, Otago. As of 2018, this was the fourth busiest airport in New Zealand as it dealt with 2.25 million passengers. New Zealand is anyway a sight-seeing experience, but approaching this runway make it a lifetime experience. One can have a view of the dramatic peaks, the green landscape, and Lake Wakatipu. The descent to this runway definitely offers glorious scenery.
GIBRALTAR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SPAIN
Also known at the North Front Airport, it serves the small British overseas territory located on the southern coast of Spain. It is situated on a peninsula which gives one a glimpse of the waters while descent. Another astonishing feature that one can see while landing is a four-lane highway can be found cutting the runway right in the middle. The highway has to be closed each time a plane lands on the runway. The rock of Gibraltar is visible while approaching the runway too.
COURCHEVEL ALTIPORT, FRANCE
An altiport is a landing sport for small airplanes and helicopters in mountainous terrain. Courchevel Altiport lies in the French Alps surrounded by snow-covered peaks. It serves the ski resort of Courchevel and supports a very small runway of 537 meters. Because of a small and upward sloping runway only certified pilots are allowed to land here. Since it’s situated in the beautiful snow-capped Alps, the descent is definitely a sight worth seeing. One doesn’t only catch a glimpse of the Alps but also sees the ski runs lying in the adjacent areas.
BILLY BISHOP TORONTO CITY AIRPORT, CANADA
Previously known as Port George VI Island Airport, it lies on the Toronto Islands of Canada and the current name is in the honor of Billy Bishop the Canadian air marshal in World War II. Also sometimes referred to as Toronto Island Airport the view while descent to its runway is a combination of natural beauty and the skyline of Toronto. One can choose either to glance at the skyscrapers or the Lake Ontario which makes the landing a worthwhile experience. The descent seems to be more alluring around sunrise and sunsets.
JUANCHO E YRAUSQUIN AIRPORT, SABA
Named after the Aruban minister, Juancho Irausquin the airport is located on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba. Being the shortest runway in the world with 400 meters long, only small aircraft and helicopters can access it. The runway has high hills on one end and cliff that drop straight into the sea at the other end making the landing conditions extremely tough. The pilots have to navigate through the hills and stop the plane before it hits the cliff. Even though the experience sounds terrifying the view is exhilarating. One gets to see a small island amidst the blue waters of the Caribbean.
DONEGAL AIRPORT, IRELAND
Popularly also known as the Carrickfinn Airport, it is located on the northwest Atlantic coast of Ireland in Carrickfinn. The runway is on a small strip of land and one gets to have a glimpse at the North Atlantic sea and even the hills of Glenveagh national park which makes the landing beautiful. One can also spot while descent the traditional houses of Donegal, the agricultural landscape, few bits of Owey Island, and the Carrickfinn beach giving away by far the most scenic views.
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