PHOTO | The most unusual airport in the world with a runway that disappears twice a day

Photo: Atlas Photo Archive/Jonathan Mitchell / BACKGRID / Backgrid UK / Profimedia

Perhaps the most unusual airport in the world is located on the Isle of Barra in Scotland and is the only place in the world where a commercial flight lands on a beach. "Punkuffer".

Of course, you won't be flying an Airbus, but a small, specially designed plane that can land on sand. And of course, only if it's high tide.

The flight schedule itself, which depends on the tide, makes this airport an unusual refreshment in air travel, in a romantic sense, and the unique experience of literally falling from the sky in the spectacular Scottish landscape must be amazing.

Traffic line

The first aircraft landed on the sands of the wide, shallow Traig Mor Bay on the northern tip of the Isle of Barra in June 1936. Today, it is one of the busiest locations of the Highlands and Islands Airport Ltd., with the number of passengers annually exceeding 14 thousand.

Barra Airport has two inbound flights from Glasgow and two outbound flights to Glasgow each day. It is of great importance for the inhabitants of this remote island, but also for the increasing number of tourists who come to admire its nature.

Runway under the sea – twice a day

Bara Airport is located at 1,5 meters above sea level. There are three short runways marked with wooden poles and laid out in a triangle so you can always land downwind. The success of the hard landing on the sand does not depend only on the pilot, so twice a day the staff collects the garbage carried by the tide from the beach and takes care of the cleanliness of the runways.

After all, this is the only beach in the world where a sandcastle can cause a plane crash. Although the airport is not licensed for night flights, emergency flights can take off even after dark thanks to special vehicles that illuminate the runway and reflective strips on the beach.

The timeline is a sign

When the airport is closed and there are no flights, the beach is a regular public beach and a place for recreation, dog walking, shell collecting and surfing, and the airstrips become a promenade, popular with both locals and tourists.

The only thing that is important, and officially required of all visitors, is to follow the position of the glider that announces the flight and the danger on the beach: the lower wing means that the sky is clear, and the upper one means run away, the airport is in operation.

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