A plane-spotters guide: Five fascinating airports worth a visit
It’s time to pack up your thermos flask, whip out your binoculars and make sure you bring a pillow for your deckchair – this list will whet the appetite of every plane-spotter across the globe.
We believe that airports aren’t just a place to get from A to B – they can be a fantastic holiday for themselves.
To prove our point, here are five airports that we insist you visit. They’ll fascinate, inform and make you desperate to increase your air miles.
Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal
If you’ve ever complained about the commute from an airport, spare a thought for passengers at Tenzing-Hilary Airport – their landing strip is up Mount Everest!
A treacherous journey flying up a mountain might not seem like a relaxing ride, but it’s heightened the pulse rate of many an adventure-seeker for decades.
The runway itself is dangerously small, meaning you’ll need a highly skilled pilot to land here. You’ll need a stiff drink after you’ve made it to this airport!
Juancho E Yrausquin Airport, Saba
The Juancho E Yrausquin Airport on the Dutch Caribean island of Saba is reputable for having a perilously small runway, which ends on a cliff-edge. So if your pilot isn’t a great lander, he might end up steering his plane into the ocean.
Due to the shortness of the runway, very few planes are allowed to land here, making it rare to see impressive pilots in action.
Luton Airport, London
Luton Airport is the third largest airport in London – and it’s also a valuable piece of military history.
During World War Two, the airport was a popular base for 264 Fighter Squadron planes which would regularly fly to Europe in the hope of defending a variety of locations from invading Nazi forces.
Research and development on military planes continued in the airport until the late 1960s, and the location aided the manufacturing of a large number of military and civil aviation equipment.
Now when you visit Luton Airport you’ll be greeted by expert Luton Airport parking and numerous holiday airlines taking passengers to locations as diverse as Malaga and Barcelona. But always remember you’re on land which once played a pivotal role in the most devastating war of the twentieth century.
Wellington Airport, New Zealand
Who doesn’t want an emaciated goblin-like creature peering at them as they check-in for their flight? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll get at Wellington Airport!
The airport’s massive sculpture of Gollum from the Lord of the Rings franchise was designed by WETA Workshop and acts as a tribute to a cultural phenomenon that’s as international as the airport itself.
Paro Airport, Bhutan
Pato Airport is the only international airport of the four airports in Bhutan and lies in a deep and remote valley.
How difficult is it to get there? Only eight pilots in the world are qualified to land at the airport, so you might struggle to catch a flight to this remote region.
The editorial unit
Can you think of any other amazing airports? Leave a comment below.