15 of the world's most amazing abandoned airports

    Skyscanner | Fri, Mar 21 2014

    This article was originally published on the flight comparison site Skyscanner.

    1. Castellon-Costa Azahar Airport, Spain

    What's Spanish for White Elephant? Officially declared 'open' in March 2011, no commercial flight has actually left from or landed at Castellon-Costa Azahar Airport. Built at a cost of 150 million euros (S$264 million), the enduring feature of this freshly-deceased airport near Valencia is a statue in honour of Carlos Fabra, the local politician who was the driving force behind its construction. He is under investigation for tax evasion and corruption.

    2. Don Quijote Airport, Spain

    If you thought 150 million euros was a waste of money, how about 1.1 billion? Don Quijote Airport (or Ciudad Real Central, to give it its official name) was conceived in the 1990s as an alternative to Madrid-Barajas. Fifty minutes from Madrid on a high-speed rail connection with Seville, it was Spain's first private international airport, and Spain's last - it went bust and closed in April 2012.

    3. Berlin Tempelhof, Germany

    Built in 1923, Berlin-Tempelhof closed to passengers on 31 October 2008. Until the construction of the Pentagon, it was the largest building in the world. It played a key role in the Berlin Airlift but over the years it became obsolete. Today 'Tempelhof Field' is the largest public park in the city and the airport buildings host events such as raves and fashion shows.

    4. Croydon Airport, England

    Said to be one of the three iconic pre-World War Two airports in Europe, along with Le Bourget in Paris and Templehof in Berlin, Croydon was redolent of the romance of early aviation. Several famous figures, from Amy Johnson and Charles Lindbergh, to Winston Churchill, graced its runway, which crossed a road on which traffic had to be stopped by a man waving a red flag. It is also famous for being the first airport with air traffic control. Today, the old terminal Airport House still stands, decorated by a De Havilland Heron.

    5. Nicosia International Airport, Cyprus

    Nicosia International Airport was the most important airport in Cyprus but commercial activity stopped after the Turkish invasion of 1974. Today it is a no-man's land, a United Nations buffer zone from which both Greeks and Turks are barred.

    6. RAF Binbrook, England

    The UK has a number of old disused airfields just waiting to be turned into the next 'regional hub' or Mayor of London-named mega project mooted as an alternative to Heathrow's 11th runway. RAF Binbrook, near Brookenby in Lincolnshire was used by bombers during World War II and continued to be used by the Air Force until the 1980s. Its biggest claim to fame is as the set for 1990 flick Memphis Belle.

    7. Gaza International Airport, Gaza Strip

    Also known as Yasser Arafat International Airport, this airport served the Gaza Strip. Opened in 1998, 700,000 passengers passed though it a year, but not for long. In December 2001 Israeli forces shelled its radar station and control tower, putting it out of action. A few weeks later, they bulldozed the runway.

    Next >> 15 of the world's most amazing abandoned airports

    15 of the world's most amazing abandoned airports

    Click on thumbnail to view. Story continues after photos. (Photos: AFP, Christopher Hilton, Daniel Case, Joe Mabel, Johnvr4, Reuters, Wikimedia Commons, Youtube screengrab)


    How does this story make you feel? Express it here.