Barra Airport named among world’s most scenic

A plane on the beach runway at Barra Airport. Picture: Wikimedia/CC
A plane on the beach runway at Barra Airport. Picture: Wikimedia/CC
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THE world’s only regular beach runway, situated in the Outer Hebrides, has been named fourth in a poll to find the most scenic approach.

Barra Airport had been selected as one of the world’s most stunning airports in a competition which saw the small island beach landing strip go head to head with some of the world’s best known destinations.

The airport was named in the top ten in a poll of more than 3000 people by PrivateFly.com - and together with some of the world’s most iconic destinations, including Cape Town, Las Vegas and Nice.

First place went to Queenstown in New Zealand.

A panel of travel industry judges – which include Forbes’ Matthew Stibbe, Tiffany Dowd of Luxe Social Media, and Travel Weekly Chairman Clive Jacobs - initially chose 37 airports which they thought offered the most stunning views on approach in the world.

The judges said of Barra: “Where else in the world can you fly over majestic mountains, stunning coastline and turquoise seas before descending over an historic harbour castle and landing on a large silver sand beach? Totally stunning and totally unique. Nothing comes close.”

Barra, which won the award in 2012, handled 10,560 passengers last year and was one of the smallest airports in the shortlist.

The only other UK airport to make the top ten was London City in ninth place.

Planes can only land at Barra when the tide is out and it is the only beach airport which is used by scheduled services.

The airstrip was also made famous in the film Staggered, starring Martin Clunes.

The airport is regularly hailed as one of the world’s prettiest, but it isn’t without its problems. Extreme weather conditions and high tides have scuppered day-to-day operations at the airport in the past.