Published On: Wed, May 20th, 2015

Caribbean lands two of world’s 10 most scenic airport approaches

Sint Maarten airportThe Caribbean continues to hold its own in international travel and tourism surveys, recently landing two out of 10 places in the PrivateFly Best Airport Approaches 2015 poll.

PrivateFly, a global booking platform for private jet charters, conducted its latest poll in March and April of this year and received more than 3,000 individual votes, the company said.

A total of 147 global airports, offering views of everything from rugged mountainous landscapes to sparkling skyscrapers, received nominations.

According to Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly and an experienced pilot: “Our poll has become an annual checklist for the well-travelled, and offers a fascinating mix of global descents.

“From iconic city views such as Las Vegas and London City; to tiny remote airstrips such as Saba in the Caribbean (the world’s shortest commercial runway); and the unique beach landing at Barra in the Outer Hebrides.”

Saba’s scenic Juancho E Yrausquin Airport, which ranked sixth in this year’s PrivateFly poll, is flanked on one side by towering hills, with cliffs that drop steeply into the sea at both ends. Due to the diminutive 1,299-feet-long runway, it is only accessed by small aircraft and helicopters.

Also flying the flag for the Caribbean was fifth-placed Princess Juliana International Airport in St Maarten, which bagged the top spot in the 2013 poll.

Its breathtaking airport approach has people diving for their cameras every time an aircraft makes its way to the runway, which starts mere metres from the shoreline.

Other previous winners of the annual poll include Nice Cote D’Azur Airport in France (2014), which ranked third this year, and Barra in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides (2012), which took fourth place this year.

New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport was 2015’s big winner, followed by Las Vegas McCarran Airport in the United States.

The top 10 scenic airport approaches, according to PrivateFly’s 2015 survey, follow:

  1. Queenstown Airport, New Zealand
  2. Las Vegas McCarran Airport, United States
  3. Nice Cote D’Azur Airport, France
  4. Barra Airport, Scotland, UK
  5. St. Maarten Airport (Princess Juliana International), Caribbean
  6. Saba Airport (Juancho E Yrausquin), Caribbean
  7. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada
  8. Gibraltar Airport, UK
  9. London City Airport, UK
  10. Cape Town Airport, South Africa

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