A recent points out some fascinating factoids about the world’s strangest airports. Osaka, Japan, for instance, had no room to build an airport in their already-crowded region and so they built an airport three miles out to sea!
Gibraltar’s airport cuts across the city’s busiest street, forcing cars to stop- a la railroad-style- when a plane is taking off or landing. Madeira, an island near Portugal, has an extremely short runway, at just 5,000 feet. A 4,000-foot extension had to be built to offset the safety risk that the runway poses.
Bangkok, Thailand has an 18-hole golf course in the middle their runway! This causes obvious limitations (not to mention distractions) to the game.
Among the other top 18 strangest runways mentioned are Antarctica (perhaps not surprisingly, their runway is made of ice), Courchevel, France (where the plane takes off downhill and lands uphill), St. Maarten (where arriving flights fly incredibly close to a strip of beach and a road- see above picture), Tibet (which boasts the world’s highest airport at 14,000 feet above sea level), among others.