10 Airports That Make Landing A Scenic Dream

15 May 2015

This week Queenstown was named the world's Most Stunning Airport Approach in a poll conducted by PrivateFly. While the South Island city may take the crown, the remaining nine airport approaches in the list's top 10 come with their own impressive views.

Here's a collection of the incredible 10 airports with images that show why people never grow tired of landing at them. You'll be surprised how many also made the list for Most Extreme Landings.
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10. Cape Town Airport, South Africa

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 While descending into Cape Town Airport, turn your attention to your window and you'll spot the iconic Table Mountain towering over the city in the distance. Photo: Getty

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9. London City Airport, UK

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 Extending from the runway, river views meet a stunning London city skyline. This combination makes for a breathtaking landing. Photo: Frans Zwart (Wikipedia)

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8. Gibraltar Airport, UK

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 Also considered one of the world's most precarious landings, Gibraltar Airport's main runway has ocean on either end. It's definitely a scenic descent, but you better hope the pilot knows when and how hard to brake. Photo: Getty

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7. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada

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 You'll rarely have need to land at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, but if you're ever taking a charter or regional flight into Toronto this island delivers a scenic entry into the city. Photo: Getty

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6. Saba Airport (Juancho E Yrausquin), Caribbean

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 You can see the entire island of Saba as you descend, but the runway is a sight in itself. At only 396 metres long it's one of the shortest in the world. There are few other landings that provide such thrills and scenery. Photo: Pia L (Wikipedia)

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5. Princess Juliana International, Caribbean

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 Don't expect a dull beach day on St Maarten. The runway is so close to the sand that only metres separate sunbathers from the plane's landing gear. You can see their sunburns reddening as you fly past. Photo: Getty

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4. Barra Airport, Scotland, UK

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 Taking off and landing on a beach is a rarity, but at Barra Airport it's everyday life. The sand and blue water are a refreshing alternative to the usual dull grey tarmac.

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3. Nice Cote D'Azur Airport, France

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 A sea of deep blue, undulating mountains and the French Riviera cityscape treat passengers to an unforgettable landing experience. Photo: Wikipedia

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2. Las Vegas McCarran Airport, USA

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 As you descend towards Las Vegas McCarran Airport you can see the glittering strip, the rest of Vegas and where the city meets the desert. Photo: Wikipedia

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1. Queenstown Airport, New Zealand

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 The champion of them all, Queenstown Airport is surrounded by New Zealand's picturesque mountains, fields, lakes and rivers.

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Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.