Sunday, March 3, 2013

Qamdo Bangda Airport

Qamdo, Tibet

This is the world's highest airport, perched over 14,000 feet above sea level. Even more impressive than the airport's altitude, perhaps, is the  three.5-mile-long runway. However, as reported by The Guardian in January, 2010, China is slated to start construction next year on a brand new airport in Tibet, which will be a measly two meters higher than Bangda.

Why It is Unique:
Having a runway that is the length of 61 footy fields may appear a tad excessive, but Schreckengast says that long runways are crucial to making safe landings at higher altitudes. "When you go up to these higher-elevation airports, then your approach speed, landing speed & takeoff speeds will need a higher ground speed," he says. "At sea level, where your approach speed is 150 mph, it may take 5000 feet of runway to cease. At 14,000 feet your approach speed is still 150, but possibly it takes ten,000 feet to cease."

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