Millions of air passengers take on thousands of airplanes daily. And while the greatest part of them are passing through the biggest and busiest airports on the planet, a number of air travelers are lucky to visit the smallest airports in the world. In this blog post, we will reveal a list of airports that are considered to be the tiniest ones, and maybe we’ll increase your desire to visit them one day.
Tenzing-Hillary Airport (LUA), Nepal
Besides the fact that this airport is one of the smallest, it is one of the most dangerous airports as well. Factors like: a short runway, abrupt cliffs and a 700 m drop right in front of the runway, are playing a major role in making it so dangerous.
The name is a combination of the last names of the duo who topped for the first time the highest point on earth, the Mountain Everest. Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first people to reach the maximum altitude on earth, which motivated them to build the airport. Initially, Hillary was the one who came up with the idea, and after buying the land from Sherpa, they established the Lukla Airport in 1964.
Although it is considered to be one of the smallest international airports in the world, it is annually visited by thousands of people (in 2018 about 125,000 passengers checked in), and the number is increasing. This is explained by the fact that this is the starting point of the people attempting or visiting Mountain Everest.
Barra Airport (BRR), Scotland
This tiny airport has set a record, as it is the only one that has a beach as a runway. This airport is considered to have one of the best approaches in the world, as well as the most picturesque views. Thereupon many filmmakers choose this location when they need a beautiful beach-landing scene.
As most of the time, the tide is submerged, the airport runs a few hours a day. It has 3 runways, which are positioned as a triangle so that Twin Otters could always land or take off into the wind.
The name of the airport comes from the name of the island that is situated on - Barra Island. Currently, only two airlines are using the airport - Flybe and Loganair.
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (SAB), Saba, Netherlands
Saba airport is known for being located on a small mountainous peninsula and for having the world's smallest runway, as it measures only 400 m (0.2 miles). To this day, only one airline is serving this airport - Winair - and its route lays between Saba and Sint-Maarten. The flights are usually less than 15 minutes long.
Although the airport has endured tough times when no flights had been operated for about half a year, and when a storm destroyed the terminal building, now there are more than 70,000 air passengers who arrive or depart from this airport.
Moshoeshoe I. International Airport (MSU), Lesotho
Being named after the king of Lesotho, it is located in Mazenod, a town near Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, South Africa. It is the smallest international airport in the world that is settled at 5,348 feet (1,630 m) above sea level which has only 2 runways measuring 3 km and 1 km respectively. It is also connected to the busiest airport in South Africa, O.R. Tambo International Airport located near Johannesburg. Airport amenities include a tiny gift shop, a bar, a restaurant, and a kiosk.
St. Barts Airport (SBH), Caribbean
Also known as Gustaf III Airport, Rémy de Haenen Airport, Saint Barthélemy Airport, and less common St. Jean Airport, the airport took the name after the place it is located: the Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy. It is also named by King Gustaf III of Sweden who, in 1784, obtained the island from France.
The airport is operated by small charters and aircraft. Usually by a single or double engine airplanes, like Twin Otter, as the runway is relatively short (only 0.4 miles long). It is considered as one of the most dangerous airports in the world because it has a steep arrival descent and the runway ends directly onto the beach.
Morgantown Municipal Airport (MGW), United States
As it is located 3 miles away from Morgantown, West Virginia, US, the name of the airport is taken from it. Currently, it sees only one passenger airline - Southern Airways Express, whose destination is Baltimore, Pittsburgh. Perhaps, it is the smallest airport in the US.
Only small aircraft can be operated by the airport as it has a relatively small runway (only 0.5 miles) and a small territory (494 acres). It is such a small airport, that you can see from the restaurant how airplanes are taking off and landing. Among amenities are listed a cafe, a car park, and even free Wi-Fi.
Luang Prabang (LPQ), Laos
Another candidate for the smallest airport in the world 2019 is Luang Prabang. Although it is considered to be a small airport it is the second busiest airport in Laos. It is a hub for such international airlines like Bangkok Airways, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and others.
As it constantly sees a great number of passengers, it was expanded in 2012-13, and the only runway was enlarged to be 7,218 ft (2.2 km) long to this day. It also features a restaurant, a currency exchange center and a few shops.
Svalbard Airport, Longyear (LYR), Svalbard
Svalbard Airport is the northernmost airport with scheduled flights among any airport on the planet. Although it is one of the world’s smallest international airports, many airlines operate flights to this destination. One of them is Scandinavian Airlines which performs daily flights to Oslo and Tromsø.
That’s it for today, you finally got acquainted with the world’s 8 smallest airports. We hope you got something new from this blog post, and we wish you amazing air trips!
Last Updated on September 5, 2019.