Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The website Travel + Leisure has come up with a list of the world’s ten scariest runways and Gibraltar believe it or not lands at number four.

Few people actually enjoy flying and the majority fear the act of landing or taking off the most. As long as the pilot is not closing his eyes I am happy to leave it to him or her to get us down or up safely – especially as we can’t see what’s going on anyway.

Bhutan in the Himalayas comes in at number one. However there are some other surprise inclusions as well. For instance Reagan National Airport in Washington is in third place with JFK in New York at eighth.

Of Gibraltar’s airport the report says: “Pinched in by the Mediterranean on its eastern flank and the Bay of Algeciras on its western side, the airport’s truncated runway stretches just 6,000 feet and requires pinpoint precision. And upon hitting the tarmac, pilots must quickly and fully engage the auto-brakes. Yet as nerve-wracking as the landing can be, it’s never guaranteed. Because of Gibraltar’s unique topography, the British colony endures unusual localized weather patterns that cause flights to be diverted to nearby Tangiers, Faro, and Malaga.”

I have to admit my scariest landing was probably at Gibraltar when after bumping along the Med in appalling weather on approach the pilot aborted the landing, did a circuit of the Rock, before having another successful try.

You can experience these runways at http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/the-worlds-scariest-runways/1 - I’d recommend a large gin and tonic as you do so!


Frank said...

Whenever I book a flight from Gibraltar I've found myself bussed to Malaga because the aurport was closed due to bad weather.

Caroline said...

I always have a large g and t at the bar before take off - and several in flight - always works for me as never had a rough landing - or one that I can remember.

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