Welcome to the world of island airports! Island airports, usually built on natural coral reefs or artificially constructed islands, make tropical and land-scarce locations around the world accessible to millions of tourists each year. Here are some of the most fantastic island airports that you could be landing in on your next exotic vacation!
1. Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Maldives
Also known as the Male International Airport, this is the main international airport of the Maldives. It is located on the Hulhule Island in the region known as North Male Atoll, and it sees thousands, if not millions, of tourists pass through its doors each year.
The airport was constructed on a coral reef not far from the Maldivian island capital city of Male. The airport resides at an elevation of 6 feet (about 2 meters) above sea level, has only one runway that measures 10,500 feet x 148 feet (3,200 m x 45 m).
2. Chubu Centrair International Airport, Japan
You may not think of Japan as a tropical location, or even an island, but this heavily populated Asian nation relies almost entirely on island airports to make their country airplane accessible. The airport was built on an artificial island called Ise Bay in the Aichi Province. It has been defined as a first class airport, and it is the main international gateway to the central region of Japan. Well over a million passengers make their way through this airport each year.
3. Maamigili Airport, Maldives
Another of the Maldives’ marvelous airports located in the middle of crystal clear blue waters. This airport is located on the island of Maamigili and opened to the public in October, 2011. The airport sees less traffic than Nasir International Airport, and has a much smaller runway.
If you are heading to this small island in the Maldives, make sure your know and trust the captain first because this view from above could be nerve wrecking!
4. Kobe Airport, Japan
This is one more of Japan’s various island airports just off the coast of Kobe. It handles primarily domestic flights so you may not make it here unless you somehow end up on a luxurious charter plane. The airport does not usually welcome international flights because it has a shorter runway than most standard international airports. The government has even recently capped the number of daily flights that can come out of Kobe at 30 in order to prevent ‘overcrowding’ on the island.
5. Hong Kong International Airport, China
This is no small island! The Hong Kong International Airport is located on Chek Lap Kok island and was one of the largest island airports ever built. Constructed finished in 1998 and became an important regional shipment hub and a gateway for destinations in Mainland China and the rest of Asia. Today, it is the world’s busiest cargo gateway and it is one of the busiest passenger airports.
6. Henderson Airfield, USA
The Henderson Airfield is only of the only island airports in the United States, located on Sand Island in Midway Atoll, an unincorporated territory of the United States. The airport is often used as an emergency diversion point for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The airport, however, is uncontrolled, meaning that the pilots flying into Henderson airfield must coordinate their planes ahead of time to avoid crashes. Flight arrivals and departures are limited to night time in October – August when the albatross birds are present due to their migration.