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The approach into Queenstown Airport is amazing, with views of The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Photo: Shutterstock
The approach into Queenstown Airport is amazing, with views of The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Photo: Shutterstock

Aviation

The world’s most amazing landing approaches

When the runway sits in the middle of a natural paradise, is surrounded by mountain peaks, or is simply like nowhere else on earth, then the approach becomes an experience in itself. Here are some of the most beautiful landing approaches in the world, from Aruba to Wyoming.

The Isle of Barra is the only runway in the world where scheduled flights land directly on the beach. Photo: Shutterstock

Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The Isle of Barra is unique among spectacular runways. It is the only runway in the world where scheduled flights land directly on the beach. Flights are carefully coordinated with the tide times – the runway disappears underwater once a day.

At Jackson Hole Airport, Wyoming, USA you will land right in the middle of a national park. Photo: Shutterstock

Jackson Hole Airport, Wyoming, USA

Right in the middle of a national park, surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Teton mountains, the approach on landing here offers breathtaking views and has made the airport a national monument.

Aruba Airport, Netherlands Antilles

Not for nothing is Aruba a favorite destination for weddings. The landing itself on this Caribbean island is something special, with views of the hilly landscape, white wave crests, and azure-blue ocean.

The approach into Queenstown Airport is amazing, with views of The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Photo: Shutterstock

Queenstown Airport, New Zealand

New Zealand is famous for its spectacular and dramatic landscapes, especially since serving as the backdrop to the Lord of the Rings movies. The approach into Queenstown Airport is also amazing, with views of The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu.

Only eight pilots in the world are certified to land at Paro Airport in Bhutan. Photo: Shutterstock

Paro Airport, Bhutan

The small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan sees very few tourists and only has one international airport. Hidden in a deep valley surrounded by mountains, the airport is so difficult to fly in and out of that only eight pilots in the world are certified to land there.

Narvik is one of the most northerly airports in the world. Photo: Shutterstock

Narvik airport, Norway

Sitting inside the Arctic Circle, Narvik is one of the most northerly airports in the world. Originally a military airport, now anyone can enjoy the beautiful and dramatic icescapes as they come in to land.

Nope, the photo is not altered. This is how close the planes come to the sunbathers at this Caribbean paradise. Photo: Shutterstock

Princess Juliana Airport, St. Martin, French/Netherlands Antilles

You'll think someone has got carried away with Photoshop when you see how close the airplanes come to the sunbathers on the beach at this Caribbean island paradise. But it’s all real – and the people on the beach can feel the cooling breeze of the jet engines.

Malé airport, Maldives

The runway here is on an artificial strip of land connected to the island of Hulhulé in the turquoise-blue waters of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by an archipelago and a fleet of luxury yachts. With this kind of approach, your holiday can’t help but be a good one!

Text: Lise Hannibal

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