Airports all over the world are often built in the vast lands and far from populated areas so that planes can easily operate, take-off and land in safe. The ideal location needs ample space, endless flat ground, favorable winds and great visibility. However, many countries have strange airports, which break down the general rules of airport’s structure design.


Congonhas Airport

Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo were built only 5 miles from the city center and completed in 1936, with rapid development in the following decades. Although the unique airport seems to be convenient for commuters, it places a strain on both pilots and air traffic control crews and becomes a challenge in terms of safety to any plane. Fortunately, Sao Paulo\’s many high-rise buildings are far enough away from the airport that they aren\’t an immediate obstacle for pilots landing or taking off.


Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo


Congonhas Airport were built only 5 miles from the city center and completed in 1936


Gibraltar Airport

Gibraltar Airport was constructed to serve as a base for the United Kingdom\’s Royal Air Force though commercial flights land on a daily basis. The airport becomes very special when its runway cuts directly across Winston Churchill Avenue and Gibraltar\’s busiest road. The runway goes from side to side on the island because it\’s the only flat space there. However, it\’s a fairly safe operation as far as keeping people away.


Gibraltar Airport


The airport\’s runway cuts directly across Winston Churchill Avenue and Gibraltar\’s busiest road


Madeira International Airport

Madeira International Airport, located in Madeira – a small island far from the coast of Portugal, is capable of landing commercial-size aircraft vital to its development. This airport\’s original runway was only about 5000 feet long, posing a huge risk to even the most experienced pilots and limiting imports and tourism.


Madeira International Airport


Engineers extended the runway to more than 9000 feet by building a massive girder bridge atop about 200 pillars. The bridge, which itself is over 3000 feet long and 590 feet wide, is strong enough to handle the weight of 747s and similar jets. In 2004, the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering selected the expansion project for its Outstanding Structure Award, noting that the design and construction was both “sensitive to environmental and aesthetic considerations.”


Madeira International Airport is located in Madeira


Princess Juliana International Airport

At Princess Juliana International Airport, pilots must fly over a small strip of beach, clear a decent-size fence and pass over a road just before hitting the runway on Caribbean island while the oceanfront property filled with tourists, who stand under incoming aircraft and suffer from roaring engines as well as the smell of jet exhaust. The challenge is to make sure there\’s not a big semi truck coming through when the plane is landing.


The Princess Juliana International Airport


The oceanfront property filled with tourists, who stands under incoming aircraft


Svalbard Airport

Svalbard is a cluster of Norwegian islands sitting in the Arctic Ocean. While there are three airports within the archipelago, two of which are used mainly to transport miners. Svalbard Airport is open to commercial travel, making it the world\’s northernmost airport that tourists can book tickets to.


Svalbard Airport


Engineers used the region\’s brutally cold climate to their favor during construction and built the runway on a layer of permafrost. The airport was completed in 1975, but slight seasonal changes caused sections of the runway to become uneven, forcing the need to repave the runway on several occasions.


The airport was completed in 1975



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