Many countries have a few small and simple airports that were once used and now abandoned. But that doesn’t even begin to compare with these amazing abandoned airports around the globe!
Here are an amazing stories behind the biggest, weirdest, most expensive, most historic abandoned airports, with awesome photos:
Berlin Tempelhof, Germany
This airport was constructed in 1923 and officially became the largest building in the world until the Pentagon was built. Berlin Tempelhof used to be one of the most iconic airports in the world, but eventually became obsolete. It played a key role in the Berlin Airlift but over the years it became obsolete. Berlin Tempelhof was closed to passengers on 31 October 2008. Today 'Tempelhof Field' is the largest public park in the city and the airport buildings host events such as raves and fashion shows.
Johnston Atoll Airpor is one of the most historic abandoned airports in the world. Imagine trying to land a plane here! Johnston Atoll Airport is a small atoll situated several hundred miles south of Hawaii, in the Pacific Ocean. It was a US military base for much of the 20th century, but closed in 2005. Built on a small island, it housed 400 men and had an underground hospital. Attacked by Japanese submarines in During WWII, it now lies in ruins and abandoned.
Nicosia International Airport, Cyprus
Prior to the Turkish invasion on Cyprus in 1974, this was actually the most important airport in the whole country. Today it is a no-man's land, a United Nations buffer zone from which both Greeks and Turks are barred.
This used to be one of the most iconic airports in the world before World War II, along with Le Bourget in Paris and Templehof in Berlin. What made it even more special is that it was the first airport to use air traffic control. Also, several famous figures, from Amy Johnson and Charles Lindbergh, to Winston Churchill, graced its runway, which crossed a road on which traffic had to be stopped by a man waving a red flag. Croydon played a key role as a fighter station during the Battle of Britain and was bombed in the first major air raid on London. It closed on September 30, 1959, and much of the site has been built over (with several roads named after aviators and aircraft: Spitfire, Hurricane, Brabazon, etc), but the former control tower and terminal building can still be seen, decorated by a De Havilland Heron.
This airport was located in Austin, Texas, and served as the city’s official airport from 1928 to 1999, when it was closed only to be replaced by Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Now built over, the only thing that reminds us that one day there was an airport here is the old control tower.
Ellinikon International Airport, Athens Replaced in 2001, Ellinikon International was partly redeveloped, with runways converted into a venue for the 2004 Olympic Games, while an Olympic Airways Museum opened in the old West Terminal in 2011. Proposals to turn the rest of it into a park have proved popular among residents.
Floyd Bennett Field, USA Floyd Bennett Field, New York New York's first municipal airport, Floyd Bennett has - since 1972 - been managed by the National Park Service. Although these days is a public park, it retains some of the historic buildings that were part of the airport. It is now one of America's largest urban campgrounds, and has hosted cycle races and meetings of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Castellon-Costa Azahar Airport, Spain Officially declared 'open' in March 2011, no commercial flight has actually left from or landed at Castellón-Costa Azahar Airport. Built on a 150 million euros budget, the enduring feature of this freshly-deceased airport near Valencia is a statue in honour of Carlos Fabra, the local politician who was the driving force behind its construction. He was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud in 2013. RAF Binbrook, England This airport, situated in Lincolnshire, was used by bombers during World War II and continued to be used by the Air Force until the 1980s. Even though it got abandoned then, it became the set for the 1990 movie Memphis Belle. Galeville, USA Originally used as a military academy during World War II, Galeville is a small airfield located in New York. After the war, it operated as a civilian airport for some years. It's now part of the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge.
If you thought 150 million euros was a waste of money, how about 1.1 billion? Don Quijote Airport was conceived in the 1990s as an alternative to Madrid-Barajas. Fifty minutes from Madrid on a high-speed rail connection with Seville, it was Spain's first private international airport, and Spain's last - it went bust and closed in April 2012.