When an air harbor becomes a landmark
A short runway in the mountains or a state-of-the-art terminal complex the size of a small nation… The airport is always the first attraction of the destination. Fasten your seat belts, the journey begins.
One of the most dangerous airports in the world is popular with climbers, it is no coincidence that in 2008 it was named after the first conquerors of Everest – Tenzing and Hillary. Under the leadership of Sir Hillary, in 1964, the runway was built – for only $ 2,650 by the local Sherpas, who simply trampled down the soil. It was rolled into asphalt only in 2001.
The 527-meter strip is located at an altitude of 2845 m above sea level with a slope of 11.7%, which makes takeoff and landing an extreme adventure.
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O. Sint Maarten
Princess Juliana International Airport
Princess Juliana Airport belongs to the Netherlands, which shares the Caribbean island with France. The runway is very low and literally rests on Maho Beach: sunbathers have a unique opportunity to capture the planes flying above them on the camera in close-up.
The airport is famous for the neon corridor between the halls of terminal 1. At first, a spectacular attraction was planned here in conjunction with Disneyland. Collaboration did not work out, but the result of the attempt was the installation Sky's the limit (“Limit – sky”), created by artist Michael Hayden from 466 neon pipes.
Passengers move through a tunnel that is a a mile to the sounds of slow Rhapsody in Blue Gershwin.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
The building was designed by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, one of the main ideologists of architectural metabolism. This style implies the possibility of transforming the structure in accordance with the developing environment. The airport is considered one of the most environmentally friendly in the world.
Shenhzen Bao'an International Airport
< p>“All in white” —so you can say about the new terminal of Bao'an Airport, filled with daylight, creating a feeling of weightlessness, which replaced three old ones in 2013.
The terminal is built in the shape of an airplane: 1050 m in length and 650 m wide. But many compare it with a manta – a huge stingray, a majestic and graceful creature. The honeycomb building was designed by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas.
A large shopping area and good restaurants, moving walkways and high-speed elevators today will hardly surprise anyone. Movie theaters and a swimming pool are already something. On the territory of Changi Airport, among other things, there are several gardens: cactus, sunflower, gardens of water lilies, orchids, butterflies, as well as a “green wall” 300 m long and a pond with goldfish.
King Fahd International Airport
The airport was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest in the world in terms of area (780 km2). Features of traditional Islamic architecture are combined here with high technology. The space is organized in such a way that a traveler from afar can see all the objects on the territory.
< h2>Dubai, UAE
Dubai International Airport
It is customary to talk about Dubai Airport in superlatives. Until 2013, Terminal 3 was the largest building in the world in terms of internal area, until it was surpassed by the New Age Global Center in China. With an area of 1,713,000 m2, the terminal serving the Emirates airline has 82 moving walkways, 97 escalators, 8 trains, 157 passenger elevators and 27 freight elevators.
One of the best in the world with in terms of functionality and convenience, the airport is also famous for the fastest Duty Free in the world.
Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport
In fact, part of the Antoine Saint-Exupéry airport is the TGV train station. Its appearance makes the generally unremarkable airport remarkable.
An architectural masterpiece with a fan-shaped roof was created in 1994 according to the project of the Spaniard Santiago Calatrava, author of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. The structure resembles a soaring bird.
Gibraltar International Airport
Runway length 1680 m half goes into the bay, but even this puts the Gibraltar airport in the top five most extreme in the world. The route is crossed by Winston Churchill Avenue – the main highway leading to the border with Spain. Every time during takeoff and landing the road is blocked. Sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for two hours.
Photo: Legion-Media, Alamy/Legion-media (x3), AFP/East News (x2), Legion-media, Getty Images, Legion-media, Getty Images
Material published in Vokrug Sveta magazine No. 6, June 2017, partially updated in February 2023