The world’s most scenic airport runways approach are looking more glorious than ever.
As any passenger preferring the window seat knows, looking at a destination from above can be the most rewarding way to experience it.
From gorgeous coastlines to rocky islands, some of the world’s most striking landscapes are also where you’ll find the most scenic airport runways.
And if you’re flying to an airport with breathtaking approaches, it just doubles the fun. Here are some of the best Airport runways in the world.
1- Barra Airport, Scotland
This airport is unique, being the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway.
The runway is underwater once each day.
The airport operates by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, which owns most of the regional airports in mainland Scotland and the outlying islands.
Barra Airport opened in 1936.
2- Courchevel Altiport, France
Permitting only certified pilots to land here, as the approach is through deep valleys and tough mountain conditions.
Since it locates in the French Alps, these dangerous conditions make for great viewing for the passengers.
The airfield has a very short runway of only 537 meters (1,762 ft) with a gradient of 18.6%.
There is no go-around procedure for landings at Courchevel, due to the surrounding mountainous terrain.
The runway has no instrument approach procedure or lighting aids, thus making a landing in fog and low clouds unsafe and almost impossible
3- NICE AIRPORT, FRANCE
Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is an international airport located 3.2 NM (5.9 km; 3.7 mi) southwest of Nice.
It is the third busiest airport in France and serves as a focus city for Air France and an operating base for EasyJet.
The airport positions 7 km (4 mi) west of the city center and is the principal port of arrival for passengers to the Côte d’Azur.
Treating travelers to Nice to a stunning view of the French Riviera, which makes it one of the most beautiful runways in the world.
4- Hulhule International Airport, Maldives
The approach to Hulhule offers views of the archipelago in the lap of the Indian Ocean.
Male airport is the main gateway into the Maldives islands for tourists. It is currently the only airport in the country offering international flights.
The airport first started out as a small strip of land on the then inhabited island of Hulhulé and opened on 19 October 1960.
5- Queenstown airport, New Zealand
New Zealand is undeniably beautiful, and coming in from the air is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A regular scenic route between Queenstown and Milford Sound was first established by Southern Scenic Air Services Ltd in August 1951.
Mount Cook Airline was the pioneer of tourist flights into Queenstown.
6- Kansai International Airport, Osaka Bay
Kansai International Airport is an international airport located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay
It has been constructed on an artificial island that connects to the mainland by a 1.8-mile-long (3 km) bridge.
The turquoise water is visible from every angle.
7- Madeira Airport, Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport, also known as Madeira Airport, or Funchal Airport (Aeroporto do Funchal).
The runway surrounds by high mountains and the ocean.
Despite the beauty for passengers, it is a tricky runway even for most experienced pilots.
8- Gustaf III Airport, Saint Barthélemy
Gustaf III Airport, also known as Saint Barthélemy Airport, sometimes as St. Jean Airport.
The runway is just 4 miles long (650 meters), which makes it suitable only for chartered flights.
The angles are very tight with unusual wind conditions, but that does not detract from the beautiful approach.
9- Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is an airport on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba.
Also known for being the shortest runway in the world.
Flanked on one side by high hills, with cliffs that drop into the sea at both ends.
At just a quarter-mile (396 meters) long and flanked by hills, only helicopters and small aircraft can use it.
10- Toronto City Airport, Canada
The airport is mostly referred to as the Toronto Island Airport and was previously known as Port George VI Island Airport.
It uses by civil aviation, air ambulances, and regional airlines using turboprop planes.
A combination of skyscrapers and natural beauty make landing in Toronto a sightseeing experience.
11- Jackson Hole Airport, Wyoming, U.S.
Jackson Hole Airport is a United States public airport located seven miles (11 km) north of Jackson, in Teton County, Wyoming.
It is set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Teton Mountains, making it a heavenly experience for passengers as flights approach the runway.
12- Paro Airport, Bhutan
Located in the Himalayas, it offers a view of small houses scattered around the foothills.
Consider landing to be tough here, the views over the clear blue waters over the Paro river and the lush green surroundings take the edge off passengers’ nerves.
13- Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Martin
Princess Juliana International Airport (also known as Saint Maarten International Airport).
The runway starts just feet from the edge of the ocean which makes it a grand (and scary) sight for tourists on the beach.
14- Gibraltar International airport, Gibraltar
Located at just a third-mile (500 meters) from Gibraltar’s city center.
The runway intersects by a road that has to close every time there is a movement on the runway.
The rock of Gibraltar is visible on the approach.
15- Wilkins Runway, Antarctica
The only runway in frozen Antarctica is a sight to behold, but only scientists see it because it’s not used for tourists.
Wilkins Runway, one of the most scenic airport runways, is a single runway aerodrome operated by Australia.