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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Window seat please! Two of Britain's airports among the world's top 10 most stunning aerial approaches

By Daily Mail Reporter

From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Two UK airports - one a busy inner-city hub, the other featuring a beach runway - are among the world's top 10 most stunning aerial approaches in a list published today.

London City Airport provides 'a highly scenic approach over world-famous London landmarks', according to jet booking company PrivateFly.com which drew up the list.

The other UK entry in the top 10 was Barra airport in Outer Hebrides where planes land on the beach and flight times vary according to the tide.

Princess Juliana Airport in St Maarten, Caribbean makes second place on the list due to its close proximity to the beach, with aircraft skimming over the heads of holidaymakers

Princess Juliana Airport in St Maarten, Caribbean makes second place on the list due to its close proximity to the beach, with aircraft skimming over the heads of holidaymakers

Third is St Bart's Airport in the Caribbean, which is described as having a

Third is St Bart's Airport in the Caribbean, which is described as having a "thrilling" approach with angles, hills, unusual wind conditions and a short runway

IF YOU LOOK OUT OF YOUR WINDOW NOW .... THE TOP TEN

1. Sion, Switzerland

2. Princess Juliana Airport, St Maarten, Caribbean

3. St Barts, Caribbean

4. Gibraltar

5. St Gallen-Altenrhein, Switzerland

6. Funchal, Madeira

7. London City

8. Lukla, Nepal

9. McCarran Airport, Las Vegas, USA

10. Barra, Outer Hebrides, UK

London City was described as providing 'amazing views' of the 02 arena in Greenwich, with the runway described by pilots as 'an aircraft carrier' for being relatively short and surrounded by water.

Although some passengers have described the approach as 'stomach-churning', pilots have said that it gives them a 'fairground-ride like buzz'.

And the route over such other landmarks as Big Ben and Canary Wharf tower has earned the airport its place on the list.

At Barra, meanwhile, 'visitors and cockle-pickers share the use of the beach', with planes landing on the shore and flight times varying according to the tide.

The airport's three runways, which are on Traigh Mhor beach, are marked out with wooden poles in the sand.

'If you arrive in late afternoon on a gloomy day, cars may have their lights on to provide pilots with added visibility, since the airport has no artificial lighting,' said Privatefly.com chief Adam Twidell.

At number four, Gibraltar Airport, whose runway is intersected by a main road which is closed every time a plane takes off or lands

At number four, Gibraltar Airport, whose runway is intersected by a main road which is closed every time a plane takes off or lands

Sixth on the list is Funchal Airport in Madeira, which has a runway bordered by water on one side and hills on the other

Sixth on the list is Funchal Airport in Madeira, which has a runway bordered by water on one side and hills on the other

Number seven on the list is London City Airport, whose steep approach is described by pilots as offering

Number seven on the list is London City Airport, whose steep approach is described by pilots as offering "a fairground-like buzz"

At number eight is Nepal's Lukla Airport, which has a ten-minute approach down a steep valley, followed by a sharp turn and uphill landing

At number eight is Nepal's Lukla Airport, which has a ten-minute approach down a steep valley, followed by a sharp turn and uphill landing

Gibraltar Airport, which is fourth on the list, rivals Barra when it comes to the quirkiness of its runway.

The approach is bisected by a main road which has to be closed to traffic every time a plane takes off or lands.

The list was topped by Switzerland's Sion Airport, in the heart of the Alps, which offers a spectacular approach over the Rhone Valley.


Las Vegas' McCarran Airport was in ninth place, making the list for its striking contrast of desert and metropolis, as well as the sheer scope and glamour of its setting

Las Vegas' McCarran Airport was in ninth place, making the list for its striking contrast of desert and metropolis, as well as the sheer scope and glamour of its setting

In tenth place was the unusual Barra Airport in the Outer Hebrides, where planes land on the beach and drivers may switch on their lights to provide extra visibility

In tenth place was the unusual Barra Airport in the Outer Hebrides, where planes land on the beach and drivers may switch on their lights to provide extra visibility


A second Swiss airport, St Altenrhein, was in fifth place.

Twidell, who is an experienced pilot, said most of the airports chosen were ones which could be accessed only by smaller planes.

'In fact, a private jet or propeller aircraft charter brings back the glamour of flying - a reminder that a journey by air can be a life-enhancing experience in itself,' he explained.

Top of the list was Sion Airport in the heart of the Swiss Alps, which provides passengers with a stunning approach through the Rhone Valley

Top of the list was Sion Airport in the heart of the Swiss Alps, which provides passengers with a stunning approach through the Rhone Valley

Swiss St Gallen-Altenrhein finished in fifth place, and was praised for its idyllic setting between Lake Constance and the foothills of the Appenzell region

Swiss St Gallen-Altenrhein finished in fifth place, and was praised for its idyllic setting between Lake Constance and the foothills of the Appenzell region




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