The Strangest Airport Runways in the World, Including one with Graves

Arrivals have never been more exciting.  
Scotland’s Barra Airport is one of the few, if not only, beach airports in the world. Photo: Calflier001/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Gisborne Airport, New Zealand

This spot would provide the perfect backdrop for a Bollywood action sequence. The regional airport on New Zealand’s North Island is famous for having an active train track, the Palmerston North-Gisborne Railway Line, cutting across the runway. Understandably, this often causes either the train or an aircraft to wait until the other passes, creating a picture-perfect moment.

Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar

Gibraltar's busiest road cuts right across its airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Gibraltar’s busiest road cuts right across its airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Located in the southern tip of Spain, the tiny nation of Gibraltar has one of the most unique airports in the world. The main runway of the airport is intersected by the country’s busiest road, Winston Churchill Avenue, making it one of the most dangerous airports in the world. Pedestrians and vehicular traffic are cordoned off by barriers before a flight lands, rather like a railway crossing. Another fun fact about Gibraltar’s airport is that its terminal building is so close to the country’s border with Spain that you can cross over in a quick 2-minute walk.

 

Barra Airport, Scotland

Landing conditions at Barra Airport are dictated by the tide. Photo: Calflier001/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Landing conditions at Barra Airport are dictated by the tide. Photo: Calflier001/Flickr/Creative Commons (http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

You won’t believe this airport the first time you see it. Located on the island of Barra on the Outer Hebrides, this tiny airstrip is situated on the Traigh Mhor beach, with its sandy shores transforming into runways when they aren’t submerged by the high tide. A sign warns people tostay away from the beach when the “windsock is flying” and the baggage claim area resembles a small bus stop.

 

Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, USA

The two grey rectangles on the runway are the gravemarkers of the Dotson couple. Photo: Google Maps

The two grey rectangles on the runway are the grave markers of the Dotson couple. Photo: Google Maps

The Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport in the American state of Georgia has a spooky secret – the runway is home to two grave markers. According to local news reports, the markers belong to Richard and Catherine Dotson and read “At Rest” and “Gone home to rest” respectively. How did they get there? The Dotson family once owned the land where the airport currently stands, but had to give it over to the government when local airfields were needed during World War II. As a result, the family cemetery was moved, except for the Dotsons. But don’t worry, Richard and Catherine aren’t resting peacefully under the runway, as was discovered during construction work. All that remains are the markers.

Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand

Golfers won’t mind enduring delayed flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. Smack dab in the middle of the airport’s East and West runways is the 18-hole Kantarat golf course belonging to the Royal Thai Army. The course is open to the public and offers an exhilarating golfing experience, with aircraft landing very close to the green.

 

  • Kamakshi Ayyar is a former member of NGT India's digital team. She is partial to places by the sea and desserts in all forms. When she isn't raving about food, she's usually rambling on about the latest cosmic mysteries. She tweets as @kamakshi138.

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