When we think of airports, we expect bustles of people, dozens of suitcases and several fancy amenities to keep us occupied. What if not all airports were like this? Not all airports are full of people waiting to get on a plane – some are small and basic with just a runway or two to keep us occupied whilst we wait for the next flight.

Here we take a look at the top 5 smallest airports in the world.

5. Barra Airport, Scotland

One of the world's smallest airports in Scotland
A plane landing at Barra Airport in Scotland © Calum Macphee

This tiny airport in Scotland has set a world record not only for being small but the only place in the world where the runway is a beach!

Opened in 1936, Barra Airport is located in the bay of Traigh Mhòr on Barra Island. The airport is open Monday-Friday operating two flights a day to Glasgow. Currently, only Flybe and Loganair operate at the airport. In 2018, the airport welcomed 15,000 passengers.

4. Morgantown Municipal Airport, United States

One of the world's smallest airports in the United States
Morgantown Airport is one of the smallest airports in the United States. Photo credit: m.schoenbeck via Flickr

The airport located in West Virginia is served by only one commercial airline, United Airlines, that connects the town by direct flights to Washington Dulles in DC and Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania. The runway is only 0.5 miles long and the airport occupies a small territory of 494 acres.

The airport has one restaurant where passengers can watch planes landing and taking off.

3. Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Nepal

One of Asia's smallest airports
One of the smallest and most dangerous airports in the world. Image credit: Tibet Vista

The airport is located in Lukla, a small village in Nepal, the airport was named after Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first two people to successfully climb Mount Everest. Many tourists choose to start their journey here to trek up Everest.

Due to the size of the airport and its location in the mountains, it has been described as one of the world’s most dangerous airports. The short runway proves to be a real challenge even for the most experienced of pilots!

2. St Barts Airport (Gustaf III Airport), Caribbean

One of the world's smallest airports in the Caribbean
St Barts airport is one of the most challenging airports in the world. Image credit: Alluring World

St Barts Airport – also known as Gustaf III Airport – is named after King Gustav of Sweden who received the island from France in 1784. The airport only allows single and twin-engine planes with a maximum of 20 passengers.

The short runway (0.4 miles) has a steep downhill descent and is located near the sea.

1. Juancho E Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island, Caribbean

Saba Island in the Caribbean is classed as the world's smallest airport
Saba Island in the Caribbean has the shortest runway in the world. Image credit: Sean Ganaan via Flickr

At number one on our list, we have the airport in Saba Island in the Eastern Caribbean (a special municipality of the Netherlands). Large aircraft cannot operate at this airport due to the runway being only 0.2 miles long!

The only airline to operate at this airport is Windward Islands Airways which offers daily flights to St Martin in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Have you been to any of the world’s smallest airports? Or have you been to any other unique airports not on this list? Let us know in the comments!

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