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Runway road

In Gibraltar, the main arterial road out of the territory intersects the runway of the international airport. Every time a plane lands or takes off, the road has to be closed.


Michael F. Mehnert [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This setup sounds like exceptionally bad civic planning, but Gibraltar is so narrow that they didn’t really have a choice. Much of the territory is dominated by the famous Rock of Gibraltar, which is a bit too lumpy and rock-shaped for runways.

The road, Winston Churchill Avenue, is the territory’s main connection to Spain. Whenever a plane is scheduled to land or take off they just close that road long enough for the plane to drive across the road.

They’re planning to build a tunnel underneath the runway, but as far as I can tell it’s not done yet. You can see a plane crossing the road in the video below (at around the 5:00 mark).

One final note: Gisborne Airport in New Zealand, Manakara Airport in Madagascar, and Bacha Khan International Airport in Pakistan all have railway lines that cross their runways. This seems like a bad idea.

[Thanks to Shaun T. for suggesting this topic.]

Categories: Europe Places

The Generalist

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.

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