What would us travel lovers do without airports! We take it for granted how easy it is to country hop and travel the world. Airports are essential for travel but every airport is different. This is a collection of some of the coolest, craziest and busiest airports from around the world.

Courchevel Airport, France
The landing strip in Courchevel, France is so short that you have to land on an inclined strip to slow down and take off on a decline to pick up enough speed. Who even needs to ski after a landing like that? The real problem for pilots at this airport isn’t coming up short, it’s that they only get 1 shot at a landing. If they mess up, they won’t get much of a chance to execute a go around because they’re flying straight at a huge mountain with very little available lift in the thin air at altitude.

Courchevel Airport – picture sourced from Airliners [Link]

Video of Courchevel Airport
Take off and landing a PC12 at Courchevel, France. Check out the slope! Only 550m long.

This airport was used in the James Bond Movie, Tomorrow Never Dies. The remote location is one of the world’s few high-altitude airfields, Peyresourde, in the central French Pyrenees.

Video – Landing at Courchevel Airport

Gibraltar Airport
Gibraltar Airport is the civilian airport that serves the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It is owned by the Ministry of Defence for use by the Royal Air Force as RAF Gibraltar. Civilian operators use the airport; currently the only scheduled flights operate to the United Kingdom and Spain. Passengers depart and arrive through the civilian operated terminal. Gibraltar Airport has the distinction of being the closest airport to the city that it serves, being only 500 metres from Gibraltar’s city centre. In 2004 the airport handled 314,375 passengers and 380 tonnes of cargo. Gibraltar Airport is one of the few Class A airports in the world. Winston Churchill Avenue (the main road heading towards the land border with Spain) intersects the airport runway, so consequently has to be closed every time a plane lands or departs. This is one amazing airport, just check out this landing strip!

Catalina Airport
Catalina Airport is a privately-owned airport located six miles (10 km) northwest of the central business district of Avalon, California in the middle of Catalina Island. The airport is open to the public and allows general aviation aircraft to land there.

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is the only airport on the Caribbean island of Saba, in the Netherlands Antilles. It is well known among experienced fliers for the way in which airplanes must approach or take off from the airport.

Lukla Airport, Nepal

Lukla Airport is a small airport in the Town of Lukla in Khumbu, eastern Nepal. In January 2008, the government of Nepal announced that the airport would be renamed in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first persons to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Lukla airport is the last stop before getting out and walking in to Everest base camp.

Lukla Airport pictures sourced from airlines.net [Link]

Princess Juliana Airport

Princess Juliana International Airport serves the Dutch part of the island of Saint Martin. It is the third busiest airport in the Eastern Caribbean and serves as a hub for Windward Islands Airways and is the major gateway for the smaller Leeward Islands, including Anguilla, Saba, St. Barthélemy and St. Eustatius. It is named after Juliana of the Netherlands, who as crown princess landed here in 1944, the year after the airport opened.

Princess Juliana Airport pictures sourced from airliners [Link]

Florø Airport, Norway
Florø airport serves the town of Florø in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. It is located south of the town centre, on an area of land called Florelandet. It had 141,194 travellers during 2005, making it the largest regional airport in Norway. Services from the airport are provided by Danish Air Transport using ATR-42 turboprop aircraft to Bergen and Oslo on public service obligation contracts. The airport also has a heliport, used to transport personnel to oil platforms in the North Sea.

Mexico City International Airport, Mexico
Mexico City International Airport also called Benito Juárez International Airport is a commercial airport that serves Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. It is Mexico’s and Latin America’s busiest. Although this was not its official name for several decades, it was formally named after the 19th century president Benito Juárez in 2006, and is Mexico’s main international and domestic gateway.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport
Mariscal Sucre International Airport is an airport in Quito, Ecuador, named after Antonio José de Sucre, a hero of Ecuadorian and Latin American independence. It began operations in 1960, and currently handles about 3.9 million passengers and 125,000 metric tons of freight per year.

The airport, one of the highest located in the world (at 2800 meters AMSL) is located in the northern part of the city, in the Chaupicruz parish, within 5 minutes of Quito’s financial center; the terminals are located at the intersection of Amazonas and La Prensa avenues.

Lord Howe Island Airport, Australia
Lord Howe Island Airport is a regional and international airport providing air transportation to Lord Howe Island, Australia.

Funchal Airport, Portugal
Madeira Airport (informally known as Funchal Airport, and formerly known as Santa Catarina Airport), is an international airport located near Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. The airport controls national and international air traffic of the island of Madeira. It was firstly opened on 18 July 1964 with two 1,600m runways.

Santos Dumont Airport
This airport serves Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the city’s second major airport behind the Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport.

World’s Busiest Airports

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia, United States:
Largest number of passengers annually (1998–2008)
Most arrivals and departures (operations) annually (1999–2000, 2005–2008).
In 2007, Hartsfield again set the world’s record for most aircraft movements in one year with 994,346.
Most flights (2006)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

The following airports also make claims based on objective measures, but some of the claims are based on traffic classification:

London Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom
Largest number of internationally-bound passengers annually (2004–present). Heathrow Airport is used by over 90 airlines which fly to 170 destinations worldwide. The airport is the primary hub of BMI, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Heathrow Terminal 4

Those travelers looking for Heathrow parking and Gatwick parking then there is a wide choice of companies offering services such as ‘Meet and Greet’ – a personal chauffeur meets you at the airport and drives your vehicle away to secure off-airport parking. Cool! Then on your return, the chauffeur will greet you with your vehicle ready to go.

Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, United States
Largest number of “origin and destination” (non-connecting) passengers annually (2001–present)

Van Nuys Airport, Los Angeles, California, United States
World’s busiest general aviation airport (take-offs and landings annually)

Frankfurt International Airport, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Most international destinations served.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, United StatesLargest number of passengers annually (before 1998)
Most arrivals and departures annually (before 1998, 2001–2004).

Tokyo International Airport, Tokyo, Japan (also known as Haneda Airport)
The world’s busiest domestic-only airport until service to Seoul and Shanghai started. Busiest airport in Japan and Asia.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Shanghai, China
The world’s busiest domestic-only airport until service began to Seoul and Tokyo in October 2007. It handles 19.3 million passengers, which is more than Chicago Midway International Airport by around 0.5 million passengers. The international passenger services are served by Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which handles around 60% of the traffic within Shanghai. It is 15th busiest in Asia and 62nd busiest in the world.

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