Gibraltar Airport

image This seems kind of odd: a runway with a road going across it. And yet it's real. It's Gibraltar Airport, which is the only airport in the world that has a road crossing the runway. A view of the airport can also be seen via Google Maps (if you don't believe the picture is real). It reminds me of Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten, in terms of being a very unusual airport. (via Outhouse Rag)

Photos Places

Posted on Sun Jul 31, 2005


Man, the way drivers in New Orleans run red lights, that would get some people killed.

Might make for some interesting ambulance-chaser attorney ads, tho:

"Have you been in an accident with a Boeing 747? I'm personal injury attorney Seth Suemall--I'll take'm to court and they won't seem so big!"
Posted by ktownson  on  Mon Aug 01, 2005  at  07:54 AM
Been to Gibraltar a couple of times. it's pretty weird walking across the also happens to be the main road that goes through from spain (la linea) to gibraltar, so to pass through you have to go across the fact the photo seems to have been taken from the customs point (about 200-300 yards from the runway)

they give plenty of warning though...its kind of like a level crossing, but on much bigger all gets shut off for about 15 minutes and there's armed police around (the british naval base is just to the left of the picture) and you wait....then the plane goes past, then it taxis back the other way, the barriers open and you're away!

theres also a bunch of signs telling you not to drop your litter cause "it could be you on that plane!"
Posted by David  on  Mon Aug 01, 2005  at  10:28 AM
Isn't there some place in San Diego where the coast guard's planes cross a street? I heard my dad talking about it but I never saw it myself.
Posted by Citizen Premier  on  Mon Aug 01, 2005  at  11:26 AM
I was thinking the same thing as ktown...

Plus, doesn't it take a while to get the plane into the air? How long does it take?

It seems sort of dangerous regarding terrorism. Anyone could just drive onto the runway, right??
Posted by Maegan  on  Mon Aug 01, 2005  at  01:09 PM
Maeg, when I read what David said above, I get the idea of the sort of security that doesn't let anyone just drive on the runway.
Shut off, armed police, etc...
Posted by Boo  on  Mon Aug 01, 2005  at  02:45 PM
If you look on Google Maps you can see that the cars are stopped, presumably at traffic lights, some distance from the actual runway. The reason can be found about 2km to the right.
Posted by skribe  on  Mon Aug 01, 2005  at  07:16 PM
like i takes about 15 minutes. most of that time is before the plane lands (to clear stragglers and so forth), then a couple of minutes after the plane taxi's back the other way, the gates are opened and you can cross...

as for security (terrorists etc.), the runway is fairly open, but there are armed patrols each side. plus with the navy base, theres almost always a lot of military personnel riding around in jeeps. in addition, since the spanish border is quite close and that's relatively secure, it'd be relatively difficult to get a bomb-laden vehicle thru there, let alone to the planes/army base etc. i suppose you could run towards a plane if you really wanted, but you'd be likely to get shot well before you got there...
Posted by David  on  Tue Aug 02, 2005  at  08:08 AM
Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle has a road that crosses 2 runways and a taxi-way. There are no armed guards nor any gates. All you see is a sign telling you the rules of the crossing, a red flashing light and a line on the ground. You have to make a full stop at the line, look both ways on the runway and if nothing is in sight you can go. Otherwise you have to sit there until the plane either lands or takes off.
Posted by Saribellum  on  Tue Aug 02, 2005  at  04:21 PM
Gibraltar has hardly any room to put much of anything, so I suppose that's the only spot they could cram in the runway and also the only workable route for the road. The whole place is very tiny, and most of it is cliffs.
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  on  Tue Aug 02, 2005  at  04:56 PM
When the barriers are down, they also lay stingers to puncture the tyres of anyone driving on to the runway.
Strange about that plane. When I was there last week all the planes came from the west and took off east wards. In fact the runway looks as though it has been built with a "ski jump" on the east end similar to those on aircraft carriers.
Posted by Philip W  on  Fri Aug 19, 2005  at  04:01 AM
Citizen, strange that you mention that! I have lived my whole life minus my uni years in San Diego. I remember as a kid watching as cars were stopped and planes were crossing the street. I thought it was so neat. Been a very long time since I've seen it though. Maybe that is something that is not done anymore.
Posted by Razela  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  12:54 AM
The reason takeoffs and landings on Gibraltar are in opposite directions is political.
Spain is still rather angry at the UK for not letting them have the place and prohibit overflight of Spanish territory by any aircraft into and out of Gibraltar.
Thus the aircraft have to come in from the open sea, turn steeply, and land, then repeat the process in the opposite direction when departing.

b.t.w. there's a lot of rather hard to believe places people put airports in.
There's one in Lesotho hacked out into a mountainside to supply a diamond mine. You're literally flying towards the mountain with steep cliffs on either side when approaching it.
In Nepal there's something similar at Lukla.

And if you don't believe in roads crossing airport runways or taxiways: visit London Heathrow where there's one near the BA maintenance area.
Posted by Jeroen Wenting  on  Thu Aug 25, 2005  at  06:11 AM
Two other airports of note:

Tauranga airport: has a rail line running across the runway. It is the ONLY rail crossing in the country where the trains do not have right of way.

Hong Kong airport: the old one was so hemmed in that you were looking into people's apartment windows from your seat in the cabin as you came in to land.

And if you thought Gibralter was small, remember it's 2 1/2 times the size of Monaco.
Posted by Michael of Haywards  on  Fri Aug 26, 2005  at  11:49 PM
Hi everyone!

Well this was surely a surprise to find a photo of Monarch Airlines landing at my airport. It's REAL! hahaha. I've read the comments posted on this site and I can give more info regarding it.

The runway has a 09/27 bearing. It's just over 6000 ft long and 150 ft's tiny i know but hey at least we have an airport unlike Monaco 😊 For a place 3 sq miles we have a commercial port, dry docks capable of handling the largest UK warships, and an airport...of course!

Planes land either eastwards or westwards depending on wind direction. I agree the eastern side is slightly ramped but that is just the terrain and does not in anyway help planes take-off.

RAF Gibraltar (name is North Front Aiport "LXGB" designation), as the name suggests, belongs to the Ministry of Defence (UK) and is leased for commercial use. Currently it only services UK destinations because Spain has an air-ban restriction regarding commercial flights to and from Gib. This may soon change though!

If anyone needs any more info i'll be glad to help.


Posted by Francis Trenado  on  Mon Sep 12, 2005  at  03:13 PM
I don't believe it, next person to read this, please complain about this sentence.
Posted by Butthole  on  Sat Dec 10, 2005  at  01:16 PM
That Francis Trenado!!

Who does that git think he is? What an idiot!! Just cause he knows a little bit about his small local airport he thinks he's gonna show us all up with his limited knowledge!! Get a life!!!
Posted by FrancisTrenado  on  Tue Aug 29, 2006  at  08:03 AM
Wow, this is really odd. My cousin had an airport service in Miami that he ran out of a field for dusters and such, but he only ever had a few planes per day at most.
Posted by Torgo  on  Tue Sep 16, 2008  at  04:00 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.