Plans need a flat place to land – well, mostly flat. People need a place to meet before they get on the next flight. So why don’t you do it with a touch of grandeur? These great airports are the last place you would expect to land a plane.
- Each of Leipzig Halle Airport’s three taxiway bridges in Germany will wear a weight of up to 750 tonnes. Just as well, as an autobahn separates one of the runways from the terminal structure. Airplanes must make a detour over the six-lane highway to get from the northern runway to the main building.
2. In Nepal is potentially the most dangerous airport in the country. Aircraft departing and landing at Lukla Airport only have 527 meters of runway to deal with. And as if that wasn’t enough hair-raising, pilots are often faced with a 600-meter drop at the end of the runway during the take-off.
3. If the thought of a long trek through the Australian desert deters you from visiting Uluru, you may be surprised to learn that Connellan Airport is just a few minutes’ drive from the massive sandstone formation. Despite its remote location, the airport is host to around 400,000 visitors a year.
4. If your holiday begins the second you get off the plane, you are probably in Singapore. Passengers at Changi Airport can enjoy the lush 14,000-square-metre Canopy Park, stretch their legs among the 2000 trees of what is almost certainly the world’s largest airport forest, or simply gaze at the 40-metre-high waterfall in the glass complex that links the airport’s three passenger terminals.
5. The flight schedule at this airport is determined not by passengers’ needs but by the tides. At Scotland’s Barra Airport, planes can only take off and land at low tide. At high tide, the 1.5-kilometre-long and one-kilometre-wide Tràigh Mhòr beach that serves as the runway is completely submerged.
6. While construction work on Berlin’s new airport has lasted 14 years and counting, it took just four years to build Beijing Daxing International Airport, which opened last year. It is estimated that by 2021 the airport will serve around 45 million passengers a year, rising to as many as 100 million by 2040.
7. Denver International Airport’s striking exterior is a nod at its location at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The white fibreglass tents which form the terminal roof evoke both the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies and the early history of Colorado’s Native American teepees.
8. The construction of the Kansai International airport took 38 months and involved the work of about a million employees. It is built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, Japan with a runway that is 4 km long. The materials used to ensure that it is resistant to natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons.
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