Ever since airplanes started to rule the skies instead of actual creatures with wings, a recurring problem was where to land the planes when they eventually need to. Lo and behold, airports.
For those who have been living under a prehistoric rock for the last century plus change, airports are basically long stretches of tarmac for airplanes to take off and land for aircraft carriers. Probably each and every single major city in the entire world have their own airports where tourists and locals alike flock to for flights wherever. Airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines, to name a few, connect cities and countries in these intricate networks of transportation. More often than not, airports make or break the economy of some locations by bringing in more people from different parts of the world.
Not all airports are gateways to success as some unfortunate centers for transportation by air have been left abandoned due to a number of varying reasons. It is quite unfortunate that these man-made edifices where airplanes used to frequent are now left in ruins; however, the wretched state they are in does give way to some pretty cool photos. Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to share it with a friend. Let's get started.
18 Donetsk International Airport, Ukraine
About 10 kilometers northwest of the Ukraine city of Donetsk lies the ruins of the Donetsk International Airport which was bombarded in 2014. It is quite unfortunate that this airport was in the middle of the battle but the airport was considered as an extremely important location due to its history.
The control tower can be seen riddled with battle scars from the numerous conflicts in the immediate area. It is highly unlikely that the Donetsk International Airport will be reopening any time soon as it would be more logical to build another airport somewhere else.
17 RAF Binbrook, UK
The Royal Air Force has its fair share of disused airfields that used to be integral in WWII but now forgotten and lost in time. RAF used the base up until the 1980s when they found absolutely no practical application for its operation and closed the RAF Binbrook entirely.
It was under the spotlight once again for a brief period as the area was used for a film called Memphis Belle that came out about a decade after the airport closed. RAF Binbrook was used primarily as a way-point for the Allies.
16 Guiuan Airport, Philippines
A particularly rural area in the region of Eastern Samar in the Philippines hosted more than its fair share of American aircraft over the course of many years including. Guiuan Airport is surrounded by lush vegetation and is not a long way off the Eastern Coast which faces the vast Pacific Ocean.
This airport was put back to life because of the international relief operations for the victims of the strongest typhoon to landfall at the time. After the region had stabilized from the effects of the typhoon, one runway seems to operate every now and then to cater to passing aircraft from across the Pacific and more frequently, planes carrying surfers looking to catch some waves in the Pacific Ocean.
15 Stapleton International Airport, Denver, USA
The airport of choice for airlines, most notably Continental, was the Stapleton International Airport between 1929 and 1995. However, there were a variety of problems that plagued Stapleton the entire time it was in operation ranging from noise complaints of nearby establishments, runways that were too close together, and a lot more.
It’s even nothing short of a miracle that it was left to run for 66 years. Well, Denver didn’t have another airport at that time so they had to keep Stapleton running or else risk the whole city’s best interests. Its 12-story control tower still stands to this day but revamped as a restaurant complex.
14 Floyd Bennett Field, New York, USA
Located in the Marine Park Neighborhood of southeast Brooklyn along the shore of Jamaica Bay, Floyd Bennett Field offers breathtaking sceneries. Many aviators were looking to break records by traveling around the world from Floyd Bennett Field back to Floyd Bennett Field again.
1971 saw the end of operations for this historic airfield and the location was turned into a National Park complete with museums and what have you. Even one of the most celebrated female aviators, Amelia Earhart, used the Floyd Bennett Field for a transatlantic trip. Its concrete runways and multiple hangars still stand tall to this day.
13 Kai Tak International Airport, Hong Kong
Hong Kong is considered to be the gateway to Asia, the sheer number of aircraft that go through Hong Kong is just eye-popping. A booming economy with hundreds of airplanes land and take off on should have its airport far away from the center of the city, a trait which Kai Tak International Airport, unfortunately, does not have as it is situated right in the center Hong Kong.
We don’t need to tell you the downsides of having a busy airport smack in the middle of a bustling city. Hong Kong’s current airport is now located in a whole other island that is connected by several modes of transportation to the city.
12 Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, Texas, USA
One of the older airports and the first civilian airport in Austin, Texas is the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport which was operational from 1928 to 1999. As the name suggests, it is only a municipal airport and it does not bring in much revenue because if it did, it would still be open, wouldn’t it? The only thing standing from the old Robert Mueller Municipal Airport is the control tower.
Since its closure, a new airport called the Austin Bergstrom International Airport opened the region to international flights which suit the needs of the locals more. Once again, this proves that an area’s connection to the rest of the world can make or break the local economy.
11 Galeville Airport, Shawangunk, USA
This tiny patch of tarmac in upstate New York was built in the peak of WWII as an academy for pilot aspirants. It had two runways where aircraft could take off and land, the maneuvers where quite forgiving for the standards as it was fairly easy to land on a completely flat area with minimal foliage to disrupt the landing and relatively easy winds compared to the extremely challenging circumstances pilots find themselves.
Now, the Galeville Airport is part of the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge but the paved runways can still be distinguished.
10 Manston Airport, England
The Manston Airport is actually one of the very few airports that a civilian owns but unfortunately, the proprietor lost $139,000,000 in his 16 years of owning the private airport. This led to the owner being forced to sell the Manston Airport to several property developers.
A company apparently proposed a plan to reopen the airport now that it is under new management in better hopes of it being run profitably but it has yet been approved. Some more changes probably have to be made before any thoughts of throwing the establishment back in business can be made.
9 Montreal Mirabel Airport, Canada
People thought that the Montreal Mirabel Airport would bring in a lot of business for the city of Mirabel in Quebec. Much to the locals’ dismay, their airport didn’t live up to their expectations as a hub for commercial flights.
CBC News reported in 2014 that it was grossly too expensive to repurpose the Montreal Mirabel Airport which paved the way for a demolition plan to take place. The airport had not hosted a passenger flight in more than a decade. Its most prominent claim to fame came in the form of the 1976 Summer Olympics which was held in Montreal.
8 Nicosia International Airport, Cyprus
When the Nicosia International Airport was built by foreign designers way back in 1968, it was the place to be with most international flights coming in and out of Cyprus was by way of this particular airport.
United Nations peacekeepers now officially have jurisdiction over the ruined airport and we don’t really know the ins and outs of the case but wouldn’t it be better to give it back to the Cypriot officials? If they can afford it, that is. This airport needs to be restored back to its former glory days.
7 Jaisalmer Airport, India
This is one example of how important it is to study an economy and commerce characteristics before investing millions of dollars into something like an airport. Jaisalmer Airport in India was intended to boost the economy of more remote parts in the country but that didn’t go so well, as you would imagine since it is on this list.
Airlines did not dare go into business with Jaisalmer because of the competition from larger travel hubs in the region. Not a single passenger went through the doors of Jaisalmer Airport which meant that you could consider the $17,000,000 spent to build the airport was as good as nothing.
6 Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, USA
People with a quick eye for little details in classic films might recognize this place as the one where Will Smith greeted aliens in the sci-fi film Independence Day. Even though it is located right in the middle of the Californian Dessert, people still go there to take pictures and what not.
It was built in 1942 to help in the war effort in the Pacific region and as a stepping stone for aircraft to replenish their supplies for the rest of the trip. The year 1999 saw the end of the Marine Corps Air Station’s operations and we have cool aerial photos of the place that shows how vast the zone really is.
5 Minsk-1 Airport, Belarus
This airport was officially permanently closed two days before Christmas day in 2015 which spiked the frequency of flights in the Minsk National Airport, the main airport in the Belarusian capital. It was closed due to a decision being made of an aircraft repair plant to be situated out of the city line.
The Minsk-1 Airport was built way back in 1933 but it was only in 1935 that the airport catered to routes departing from Minsk-1 to other regions in Belarus. Minsk-2 was happily on the sidelines while the former minor airport of Minsk enjoyed over a million passengers every year until Minsk-2 was later named Minsk National Airport.
4 W. H. Bramble Airport, Montserrat
Mother Nature in no way discriminates. May it be by a hurricane, an earthquake, a tidal wave, or in this case, a volcanic eruption, man-made structures will always be at the mercy of the elements. Montserrat is a territory in the Caribbean and before the new airport was built on the island a decade and 3 years ago, the W. H. Bramble Airport was operating until it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption.
The tarmac is still visible and with a bit of skill, some pilots can actually land on the runway but we don’t see a reason to as there is nothing in the area now.
3 Ciudad Real Central Airport, Ciudad Real, Spain
An airport that costs more than a billion Euros to build would definitely be in great hands and would have been under scrutiny the whole time. The latter is true but the former is – questionable at best. Don Quijote Airport located about 50 minutes away from the capital, Madrid, set Spain back more than $1,200,000. This would be of no consequence at all if only the airport brought in money to cover the initial investment but that did not happen at all.
It was closed in April of 2012 due to its revenue (or lack thereof) which left the Spanish taxpayers in the ditch.
2 Castellon-Costa Azahar Airport, Spain
Though not entirely abandoned, the Castellon-Costa Azahar Airport in Spain only accommodates Ryanair, an Irish low-cost airline based in Dublin. It is not like the Castellon-Costa exclusively operates for Ryanair but there is simply not enough in Castellon de la Plana for more airlines to even bother connecting.
This airport cost a whopping 150,000 Euros which was pushed by a man who was trialed for corruption, not the best look for anyone as one might assume. As of 2018, another airline by the name of Blue Air based off of Bucharest now runs its operations in Castellon-Costa Azahar.
1 Ellinikon International Airport, Athens, Greece
Right before the start of the second WW, Ellinikon Internation Airport in Athens had just opened its doors, increasing the flights to and from Greece. It was also used by the United States as an operational base due to its location in Europe for many, many years.
An architect by the name of Eero Saarinen designed the far-reaching terminal of Ellinikon who was also responsible for designing the TWA terminal in JFK. He closed its runways to everyone a year after the turn of the millennium which transferred the ATH code to the new Athens International Airport about 12 miles east of Athens.
Sources - The Points Guy, Sky Scanner & This Is Insider