Biggest, smallest, oldest, highest, lowest. The Guinness World Records have fascinated us for decades. From the bizarre to the surreal to the amazing they seem, at least to me, to tap into that innate human curiosity. Sometimes you feel you just have to know who is the person that can put the most clothes pegs on their face at once. Stupid records aside, most are genuinely interesting. For this post I thought I’d have a look at a few with regards to airports round the world.
The highest airport in the world is Quamdo Bangda airport in Tibet. It’s located 4,334 metres above sea level and its runway 14/32 is the longest publicly used in the world, at 5,500m. The low air density at such a high altitude makes take off and landing more difficult than usual. Although I think that flying to other airports must be pretty easy, just glide down!
The most remote airport in the world is on Easter Island, 2603km from the nearest airport in the Gambier Islands. Matavari International splits the island and apparently almost separates the mountain of Rano Kau from the rest of the tiny landmass.
It’s a place I’ve always had a keen interest in visiting, and the knowledge that I’d be in literally the most remote spot on the planet kind of adds to the mystique. Perhaps one day I’ll visit and get some photos first hand.
The oldest airport in the world is College Park airport in Prince Georges County, Maryland USA. Established in 1909 after a visit from aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright the airport has been the home of many flying firsts. Notably in 1909 when Frederic Humphreys became the first military pilot to solo in a government aeroplane.
I dug around a little (OK I admit, I looked at Wikipedia) and the title of world’s busiest airport seems to be shared around a bit. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atalanta International airport in Atalanta, Georgia USA has the highest number of passenger a year, and London Heathrow has the largest number of international passengers. I guess I’d attribue that to the much larger amount of internal flight traffic across the USA compared to the UK.
After all these though, I think this is probably my favourite. The video speaks for itself, and the Princess Juliana International airport takes my award for “most insane airport”.
The reason they come in so close is that the runway at the airport is incredibly short. I can’t think that it’s too relaxing on the beach there, and a little bit noisy. Still, if you’re a planespotter I guess it’s ideal.
So that’s just a few world record breaking airports. I’ll probably expand on this post in a few weeks and add in some more records. Posting that YouTube video has given me some ideas, so I might try and find some crazy/wacky airport footage. We shall see.