Airports are the arteries of any country. They are the most important and strategic piece of infrastructure, and it determines the economy of that country or a city. When a city is developed, airports are the first structures to be made so that people can move in and out easily, and all the important supplies and logistics can be moved. There are countries in the world whose economies are built from their airports as they control all the important trade routes in that region. For this reason, their airports are huge structures and have a capacity for hundreds of airplanes of all sizes. However, even the very smallest of airports in a country can play a major role in its development and prosperity. And just like their bigger counterparts, they also require extreme engineering to build. In this article, we are going to explore the world’s smallest airports.
The thrill of travelling to small airports
People travel a lot, and they spend more time at the airports than they do sometimes in the air. This is where all their energy is drained and their minds become numb. However, when flying to a very small airport, the landing and takeoff are always going to thrill you beyond anything else in the journey, and you don’t even have to stroll with your trolley for a very long distance. And it is also not a coincidence that smaller airports are mostly travelled by adventure seekers and travellers, as they are the gateway to exotic holiday destinations.
Flying to a small airport has its own benefits. If you want to fly cheaply, you can always choose a flight headed to a small airport. To avail even more discounts, compare cheap flights to these destinations on a travel agency’s website, and make the most of every moment you spend on your vacations. I was able to buy cheap flights to Goa from London from the website of a renowned travel agency. They also helped me find the best holiday package for my Indian trip which included suitable accommodation, tickets, transfers, and other great travel details.
World’s Smallest Airports
Following are some of the world’s smallest airports, flying to one is a must-do for everyone, at least once in your lifetime. They present a great challenge and testing of your resilience and trust for your pilot and aircraft. So, let’s find out what are the smallest and most challenging airports in the world.
Tenzing-Hillary Airport – Lukla, Nepal
Tenzing-Hillary Airport is the gateway to the highest mountain on this planet, Mount Everest. Named after the first two people who conquered this beautiful peak, this airport is one of the smallest and most dangerous in this world. It is the starting point for anyone bold enough to trek to and later try to climb some of the highest peaks in the universe. When you are setting sail to one of the most extreme challenges on this planet, you need to start by landing at this airport in a small propeller plane, or a helicopter which is a challenge in itself.
Juancho E Yrausquin Airport – Saba, Caribbean
The island of Saba in the Caribbean Sea is owned and administered by the Dutch. It is home to Juancho E Yrausquin Airport, which has the shortest runway on Earth. At only 400 meters or a quarter-mile long, the runway can only be landed by very expert pilots. Only small commercial airline jets can land and take off from here, and that to by making use of every inch of the runway. No matter how expert your pilot is, there is no chance of even a small human error. But people still travel to this island for its beautiful beaches which is worth all the risk.
Moshoeshoe I International Airport – Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho
The Kingdom of Lesotho is completely landlocked by South Africa, and the only way to the world is from Moshoeshoe I International Airport. There are different gift shops in the airport and some restaurants. There are two runways that are serviceable by big jet airliners, but with a length of 1000 meters or so, they are not easy to land and takeoff.
Barra Airport – Barra, Scotland
Barra Airport is located in the small town of Barra, in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. This airport is unique in a way as it is the only airport in the world that uses a runway made out of sand. Due to consistent weather variation, the arrival and departure flights are never confirmed. However, the airport has a great parking area, shops, and other things to keep the passengers entertained. Only a few propeller aircraft can land and take off from there.
Luang Prabang Airport – Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang Airport has only one small runway, and a few buildings to house passengers and run immigration. However, it is planned by the Laos government to expand it and make a bigger airport. Currently, small jets and propeller planes operate there. Right now, it is one of the smallest airports in the world, which is why it is included in this list.
Gilgit Airport – Gilgit, Pakistan
Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the world, landing and taking off from Gilgit Airport is the greatest challenge a pilot can accept. The length of the runway is just over 800 meters, and there are mountains on both ends of the runway. For this reason, only the best and most experienced pilots are chosen to fly commercial airlines there, and only small airplanes with propeller blades can take off and land there. Approaching the runway is the most crucial part and a pilot need everything inch-perfect, from weather to visibility to fly an aircraft there. This airport serves as a gateway to all mountaineering expeditions in the northern areas of Pakistan. The view in a plane when flying to Gilgit is one of the best experiences of life.
St. Barts Airport – Saint-Barthelemy, Caribbean
St. Barts Airport is one of the smallest airports in the world. Only charter planes fly there that carry no more than 20 passengers. The runway is only 700 meters long and located dangerously close to the sea. Landing and taking off is considered one of the most dangerous tasks for a pilot. However, its beaches are amazing, and people visit it to relax in the sun and serene environment.
Morgantown Municipal Airport – Morgantown, USA
Served by only one commercial airliner, Morgantown Municipal Airport is one of the smallest in the world. The runway is just half a mile long, and it is even hard to imagine how a small jet can even land there. Flying to this destination requires some great nerves, and the adrenaline rush is the best when landing.