Barra Airport – Outer Hebrides, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Barra Airport

This beach runway is off limits during high tide. 


You might want to think twice before lying on this beach in Barra, of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, because it will drastically increase your chances of being hit by an airplane.

With only three runways, Barra Airport is one of the only places in the world where flights take off from a sand beach. Signs marking the area as a part of the airport keep visitors from spreading out their blankets and getting smashed by an ascending plane, but the real danger of Barra Airport is for the airplanes.

Carefully monitoring the wind and the tides, airport officials will only use the runway when they are sure it won’t be overrun by the sea. The runway, which is located on Traigh Mhòr bay, is often awash below a fair amount of water, making take off or landing completely impossible and dangerous.

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