The world’s shortest commercial runway is so tricky, only a small selection of pilots are allowed to land planes on it. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport,  in Saba, a Dutch Caribbean island, is built on its only flat bit of land with the island itself only being five square miles long.

Its landing strip is 1,300ft long but only 900ft of that is usable with the runway being not much longer than an aircraft carrier. At the end of each side of the runway is a sheer drop into the sea adding to the danger for pilots landing there, making it a must-see for plane spotters.

But despite the drastically short runway, the airport is a lifeline for the small island, bringing in tourists and taking out locals in need of medical attention.

The runway is so loved by folk in Saba that it features on postage stamps and in the souvenir shop in the village of Windwardside which sells T-shirts with the slogan “I survived the Saba landing”.

Those who do not have the courage to take on the dramatic landing can also reach the island by ferry with even pilots themselves worried about coming into the airport.

One pilot, captain Roger Hodge, who also trains other pilots told CNN he tells new recruits “may the Lord be with you” when they make their first landing in Saba.

He said: “Once a guy has been fully trained and we’re satisfied, we radio into operations that another top gun is born. That’s what we call them. Flying into Saba gets kind of hairy sometimes, but by knowing what to do, we make it look simple and calm.

“As a pilot I just love going into Saba because that’s when you put your experience to work.

“There’s always adrenaline that kicks in because you’re being watched by passengers and people on the ground, but you’ve just got to fly that machine.”

According to reports, pilots need to be trained specifically to land at Saba, meaning not every commercial pilot can take on the feat.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/716421027/Po8nRn2sCvoyHtgK?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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