Photo: Sergio Rojo/Shutterstock

The Gibraltar Airport’s Runway Intersects With City Traffic for the Wildest Takeoff Experience

Airports + Flying
by Tim Wenger Aug 15, 2022

Fly into or out of Gibraltar and you may find your plane’s takeoff or landing has an unexpected hazard: highway traffic. As seen in the below TikTok video, the runway at Gibraltar Airport actually intersects with a normal road to create what just may be the world’s most unique 4-way intersection.

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The Gibraltar Airport was built in 1939, and as both the airport and the city that surrounds it have grown in the decades since, the runway was expanded and, with nowhere else for it to go, it intersected with Winston Churchill Avenue. Of particular note here is the fact that this highway is the primary access point for drivers coming into and out of Gibraltar. That means that not only is the road in use, but that it’s in heavy use. In order to prevent plane-auto collisions, the road is shut down for 10 minutes each time a plane arrives at or departs from the airport.

As one can imagine, this tends to cause quite a scene during busy traffic periods. While those on board the plane don’t experience anything unusual beyond witnessing the scene through their windows, It’s not uncommon for those held up in traffic while a plane comes in to exit their vehicle in order to document the occasion on their phone. This could make for a great way to play a quick game of “guess where” with a friend or loved one, as they certainly won’t be expecting a video of you standing mere meters from an airport runway as a plane rumbles past.

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