Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Walk across Gibraltar Airport's runway

The British Territory of Gibraltar on the southern tip of Spain is absolutely tiny. And when you’ve got less than seven square kilometres to play with, you have to be a little creative when it comes to placing an airport.
A lot of the land for the runway has been reclaimed from the sea, but the interesting bit runs along the border with Spain.
Across the runway runs Winston Churchill Boulevard, the territory’s main road. When the planes aren’t landing, traffic streams across the runway but the barriers come down when an incoming flight is hovering above waiting to land. It’s a little like a level crossing, but with massive jet planes.
Pedestrians wanting to get across the Spanish border into La Linea De La Conceptión have to run the same gauntlet. The pavements also stretch across the runway.
And if anyone’s a little slow, they’ll know about it – loud warnings are blasted out from above if a plane is about to land and the barriers are going to close.
Unfortunately, the airport is due to undergo a major upgrade soon. This will see a dual carriageway being built under the airport terminal so that cars don’t have to cross the runway.
Pedestrians are in luck, though – they’ll still have to walk over when planes aren’t landing.

Nearest international airport: Go on, have a rough guess.

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