On average, 8 million people fly every day. Out of those 8 million people, I’m sure around 7.9 million don’t want to spend more time in airports than they need to. Luckily there are some airports that would be better to be stranded at than others. If seeing the inside of a terminal is part of your vacation plans then make sure you see one of these places on your adventures.


Kansai International Airport | Osaka, Japan

In 1987 engineers began constructing the manmade island Kansai International is built on. It is 2.5 miles long and 1.6 miles wide–large enough to be seen from space. The island airport is about 3 miles offshore and is accessible by car, high-speed ferry, or train. Here’s to hoping the rising sea levels don’t swallow this thing in ten years.

(iCloth Avionics)

Gibraltar International Airport | Gibraltar

Here’s something that is the complete opposite of a drawbridge. The small place, Gibraltar, is located on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula. And, the only road that connects Gibraltar to the mainland runs directly through the airport’s runway. Only flights to and from the United Kingdom are serviced.


Amsterdam Airport Schiphol | North Holland, Netherlands

The 4th busiest airport in Europe is also one of its most interesting. It is also one of the better airports to have a long layover in. The Rijksmuseum features paintings by Dutch artists and is always changing. Passengers can see the museum for free or hit up the casino…or even meditate. You can also shower or lounge in a living room area.

(All Things Aero)

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport | Savannah, Georgia

If you are landing or taking off on runway 10 then you will be rolling over two grave markers. In the late 1880s Catherine and Richard Dotson were buried on the land that was once a cemetery. It transitioned into an airport during WWII when the military converted the cemetery into an airport. The bodies were moved from but, out of respect for the Dotson’s wishes, their headstones remained.


Agatti Airport | Lakshadweep, India

The only airport in Lakshadweep- an Indian Territory of 36 exotic islands- is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It looks like a 4,000ft runway that has broken off of the mainland somewhere and is lost at sea. There have been proposals to extend the runway, but the runways still remains short and dangerous.


Barra Airport | Barra, Scotland

Here’s an unconventional tropical island airport on the west coast of Scotland. There are only three runways at this airport which are marked off by poles. Because the planes land on the beach, it is only operational when the tide is out.


Gisborne Airport |  New Zealand

We’ve already covered a highway running through an airport. So, while we’re at it, we might as well talk about a train running through a runway. Airtraffic controllers must coordinate take off and landing times with the arrival times of the trains. The airport only operates flight within the North Island.

(Flickr/Pat Hawks)

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport | Saba, Netherlands Antilles

Four flights a day come into, and out of, the shortest commercial landing strip in the world. Landing an aircraft here is no easy task since it is surrounded by cliffs. Just because it is a commercial airport doesn’t mean large jets fly into it…because they can’t. Because the runway is so short.

Aeroporto da Madeira_runway

Madeira International Airport | Portugal

This runway was originally only 5000 feet long and was posing a risk to tourism and imports. Such a small runway is tough for even the most experienced pilots. The runway has been extended to 9000 feet with the addition being built on 200 pillars. The bridge can handle the weight of 747s or similar.

(Flickr/Aero Icarus)

Princess Juliana International Airport | Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten

Imagine sitting on the beach when the roar of a jet shatters the air above you. Well, in Simpson Bay you can experience that if it is what you’re looking for. The low-level landing doesn’t pose a threat to tourists on the beach, but it may be an issue for trucks on the highway. If the truck is tall and light enough, the jet blast could blow it over.




Josh is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *