Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Unusual Gibraltar Airport

Gibraltar Airport, which's in ... ummm ... Gibraltar (which's not part of Spain as some might think) is a very unusual airport. To my knowledge, it is the only one where the runway actually intersects with a major highway. When a plane has to take off or land, traffic is shut down.

Gibraltar Map
The Geography & History lesson aside, it's important that you see the size of this "territory" on the map. It will help give you some perspective of the size of the land. The Gibraltar Airport has the distinction of being the closest airport to the city that it serves, being only 500 meters from Gibraltar’s city center. In 2004 the airport handled 314,375 passengers and 380 tonnes of cargo. Gibraltar Airport is one of the few Class A airports in the World.

Let's take a look at some of the pictures that make this airport so unusual, so you get a better idea of what I'm talking about:

Gibraltar Airport Runway

Gibraltar Airport Arial View

Here's a closer look ...
Gibraltar Airport Runway

Gibraltar Airport Runway (closeup)

British Airways on Gibraltar Runway

Cars waiting on airline to pass.

Gibraltar Airport - Airline holding up traffic.

Here's some interesting trivia about Gibraltar from Wikipedia (edited):
The name Gibraltar is derived from the Arabic name Jabal Tāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "mountain of Tariq". It refers to the geological formation, the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn was named after the Umayyad General Tariq ibn-Ziyad who led the initial incursion into Iberia (today's Spain and surrounding areas) in advance of the Moorish force in 711 under the command of Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. Earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules. Today, Gibraltar is known colloquially as Gib or The Rock.

I bet that Gibraltar would make for a very nice vacation spot. ▣

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Chris said...

I took a quick trip there while vacationing in Spain a couple years ago. I remember crossing over a runway but I didn't see any big planes (and didn't have to stop for any), and since it was near a customs checkpoint I think I just assumed it was a military runway.

I actually wasn't that impressed with Gibraltar - there are probably better nearby Spanish vacation spots (I stayed in Malaga).

naomi shepherd said...

I love gibraltar xxx :-) :) :)