Saba – Shortest Commercial Runway in the World

Saba is a five square mile island in the northeastern Caribbean, 28 miles south of St. Maarten. Together with Statia, these three islands form the Windward Islands of the Dutch Caribbean which is part of the Dutch kingdom.

Known as the “Unspoiled Queen,” Saba earns this reputation from her rich, tropical, natural, beauty. At 2,864 feet above sea level, a dense rain forest often peeks out from a light, cool cloud of moisture.

It also has the distinct reputation of having the shortest commercial runway in the world. The island is a dormant volcano that emerges vertically out of the Caribbean Sea on all shores to a peak of 3000 feet. There are not any beach areas on the entire island since the entire shoreline is made up of cliffs that drop straight down into the ocean

Saba_airport

Saba's Airport

The locals claim that Saba’s runway is the shortest commercial airport runway in the world. It is 400 meters (1300 feet) in total length. The span of runway between the white lines marking the “usable” runway length measures just under 1000 feet. There are not any overrun areas on either end of the paved runway where shear cliffs immediately drop off over 200 feet into the sea. Officially, the runway is permanently closed to all air traffic as is designated by the “X” on each end. However, aircraft are permitted to operate on Saba by obtaining waivers from the Netherlands Antilles’ Civil Aviation Authority.

Here are a couple adrenaline fueled, white knuckle videos of landing and taking off on this tiny air strip.

Saba Landing

Saba Take-Off

Over and out from somewhere south,
RumShopRyan

Comments

  1. Oh my word! What a serious adrenaline rush! I would definitely visit Saba.

  2. Thanks for the comment Diva. Yeah I think I would like to experience that roller coaster ride as well.

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