Some airports serve 100 million people every day
Today, moving quickly from one point of the Earth to another is not difficult - it is enough to buy a plane ticket. Every day thousands of aircraft fly over our heads, at different altitudes and at different speeds. And so that each of them could successfully take off and land, on our planet built tens of thousands of airports. They consist of runways, air terminals and other facilities necessary to provide comfortable conditions for passengers, as well as refueling and maintenance of aircraft. All of them are different and among them there are very unusual structures. Some of them are very short and accessible only to experienced pilots, and some are arranged so that planes fly 10 meters above people's heads. As part of this article, I suggest you consider the most unusual airports in the world. Believe me, there is something to see.
As mentioned above, there are tens of thousands of airports in the world. The largest number of runways in the United States - there are more than 13,000. It should be taken into account that this number includes both passenger airports and military bases. There are 1,218 airstrips in Russia, of which only 241 are civilian. These data were relevant in 2013 and during this time the number of airports could increase because their construction is carried out regularly. According to the data, construction of the airport in Krasnodar was to begin in August 2020. The first stage will last until 2023 and its framework will be built an air terminal worth 11 billion rubles, a cargo terminal, a fire depot and other facilities.
Runways are usually covered with asphalt
Airports are different from each other, but in all there are several structures, without which it is impossible to do without. The most important object, of course, is the runway. The length of the runway is always different and ranges from 300 to 5500 meters. There are also aprons in which passengers board and exit planes. Also do not forget about parking, warehouses and air traffic control complexes. In general, almost every airport is a complex system, which costs millions of dollars to build. Thousands of people work in them.
Airport from a bird's-eye view
All the airports of the world communicate with each other, because otherwise the planes would risk colliding with each other. Thanks to airport communication, we can always find out how many planes are in the sky at any given time. On average, 25,000 planes take to the skies every day. At the same time there are usually about 12,000 flying objects in the sky. According to statistics for 2017, airlines make 60 million flights annually. See which plane is flying over you right now, you can on . Find your city and click on the icon of the aircraft, if it is - you will see a photo of the aircraft and information about its route.
Screenshot of Flightradar24
Despite the fact that all airports are generally similar to each other, some of them are very different. Yes, they have almost everything the same as the rest, but the workload, location and other features of some strongly distinguish them from the general background.
There are a lot of large airports on our planet, you can count a whole dozen. But the Dubai Airport,located in the United Arab Emirates, stands out among them. The sources indicate a different area, but in general it can be said that its area exceeds 2 million square kilometers. The airport operates with 90 airlines and flies to 40 destinations in six continents. It serves 90 million passengers annually and transports 2.5 million tons of cargo.
Dubai Airport consists of three terminals, the last of which is undoubtedly the largest in the world. The area of the third terminal is more than a million square kilometers and consists of two buildings. It has everything you need to provide passengers with comfortable conditions. For example, the third terminal has a five-star hotel, entertainment centers and fitness rooms. But not everyone can get there, but only customers of Emirates airlines. You can move around the huge terminal on free shuttles and a small subway.
Dubai Airport Interior
And now let's talk about truly unusual airports. There is a small town in northern New York, which is equipped with an airport. Since there are no large settlements nearby, planes at this airport land very rarely. And if they land, they are small, because the airport runway is very narrow. Perhaps, about its existence except the locals no one would know, if not for one feature. Across the runway on which they goplanes, passes the railway. And it has been working for a long time, so airplane pilots sometimes have to make circles and wait for the moving train to move over the lane.
Unusual airport in New zealand
And one of the most dangerous airports is located on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. All over the world it is best known as the airport of Princess Juliana. It was built during World War II. It was then that the island was built a flight field, which eventually became the basis of a full-fledged airport. One end of the runway is located next to Maho Beach. It turns out that during the landing, planes fly over the heads of tourists at a distance of only about 10 meters. In general, the island of St. Martin can be considered a great place to relax, and to get a thrill. Surprisingly, no emergency incidents related to the dangerous airport were recorded.
Plane landing on St. Martin's Island
About 46 kilometres from the aforementioned island of St. Martin is the island of Saba. The Hiancho-Irauskin airport located on its territory also has one interesting feature. It is that the length of the runway is only 300 meters. Pilots have very little time to brake, so only experienced pilots of small aircraft land on the island. Because of its peculiarity, it is also included in the list of the most dangerous airports.
In the small British territory of Gibraltar is another airport, able to tickle nerves. Its runway crosses a wide road,which is considered to be the main in the area. When the plane takes off or prepares to land, the path is blocked and motorists have to wait a few minutes, clearing the road for aircraft. Of course, the road is blocked in advance, so that on the way of huge aircraft is not left any car. Most of the time military planes depart, but sometimes civilian flights are also carried out.
As we know, there is a ski resort in Courchevel in France. It is also equipped with the airport, but very very harsh and land on it the plane can only the most dangerous pilots. And all because the length of its runway is only 525 meters. What's more, it's not even, it has an 18% tilt. Passengers of planes that land in this place, clearly have a hard time. But they have the opportunity to admire the Alpine beauty and visit the place where the film about the agent James Bond was filmed.
And you can complete the list with a story about the airport Ice Runway, located in cold Antarctica. On the runway there is no asphalt or sand - only ice with a layer of snow. If a plane has to land in Antarctica, the strip has to be cleared of the snow layer. As a rule, aircraft are used to deliver cargo and passengers to the Antarctic station McMurdo. Planes always run the risk of falling under the ice,but even large aircraft such as the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy managed to land successfully on the runway. The strip is always closed in early December, because it is at this time that the ice begins to break.
Lockheed C-5B Galaxy aircraft at Ayce Runway Airport
Recently, my colleague Artem Sutyagin talked about the most famous plane in the world. It's called Concorde, but its operation has long been stopped. You can read more about this aircraft.