Barra International Airport, Scotland
Fancy a break at the seaside? Well, if you fly into Barra Airport, you’ll already be at the beach as soon as you touch down. This Scottish airport is famous worldwide for being on a sandy bay only 5 meters above sea level. The runway is so close to the water that it becomes completely submerged when the tide is high.
Because of this, close attention must be paid to the weather conditions, and flights can only land at certain times of the day. Air traffic controllers at Barra International are truly at the mercy of the ocean.
The airport serves the island of Barra in the remote Outer Hebrides of Scotland, which has a population of less than 2000. The airport’s beach runway is also used by tourists and locals, who love to pick cockles and take walks along the shore. To ensure an incoming aircraft won’t hit them, they consult the ‘windsock’ – a fabric tube fixed to a pole that can show the direction and strength of the day’s winds.