Humans are notorious for building things and using them for a period and then leaving them behind to build something new. There are many reasons we do this. Economic changes are big part of the puzzle. Increases and decreases in the economy can lead businesses to different parts of the world. In order to stay viable the things we build must be within a decent proximity to the changing economy. Wars and civil unrest are another reason we leave things behind. Invading forces and attacks from enemies can alter the need and desire for buildings located in a certain area. Other times things just get old and worn out. So we, the human race move on.
Airports are no stranger to this practice. Many have been left abandoned and unused. Instead of being torn down they are left as monuments as to what was. These locations have either turned into ghostly reminders of the busy bustling past with memories of take offs and landings or they have been reinvented for a new purpose.
The photos below will give you 10 examples of Abandoned Airports from Across the World.
10. Berlin Templehof – Berlin, Germany
This airport was once held the title of the largest standing building in the world. A title it held for many years until the construction of the Pentagon was completed. The Berlin Templehof began service in 1923 and saw its fair share of travels throughout its operating history. The door closed to travelers in 2008 but the airport lives on and serves another purpose. It is now the largest park in the city of Berlin and its terminals are used to host many events through the year. It’s good to see something survive.
9. Castellon-Costa Azhar Airport – Spain
This airport has never seen a landing or a take off from a single plane. The airport opened in March of 2011 near Valencia, Spain. The construction cost around 150 million Euros. The statue in the photo above was erected to honor Carlos Fabra. Fabra is currently under investigation for tax fraud and corruption. The airport cannot be used until the matter is resolved. For the time being this is another airport that sits empty.
8. Nicosia International Airport – Cyprus
This airport was once a major hub in the Mediterranean for travelers. In 1974 the Turks invaded the island nation and air traffic to this location died due to the cease fire area created by the United Nations. The location is still unused and looks like a ghost town.
7. Don Quijote Airport – Spain
Here’s another deserted Spanish airport. Don Quijote airport was built in the mid to late 1990s. It was Spain’s first privately owned airport. Its location was one of the main problems. To reach the airport you had to take a 50 minute train ride by high speed rail or drive for almost two hours to reach the location. The airport owners couldn’t keep the doors open and shut down in April 2012. This was also Spain’s last privately owned airport.
6. Ellinikon International Airport – Athens, Greece
This airport was the main airport of Greece for a long time. It originally opened in 1938 and was taken over by the Germans and used as an airbase. After the end of World War II the airport reopened and became the home of Olympic Airlines. The airline company went out of business and many of their planes can still be seen on the premises. The airport closed in 2001 due to a new airport being built for the 2004 Olympics. Some of the grounds were used in the Olympic Games but otherwise sit untouched.
5. El Torro Marine Air Station – Orange County, California
This Marine airbase was the operational home of the United States Marines Corps aviation for the west coast of America. It entered service in 1943 and featured four runways. Two were 8,000 feet long and the other two were 10,000 feet long. The base was closed in 1999 due to budget cuts. The grounds were used in the blockbuster movie ‘Independence Day’ starring Will Smith. Its afterlife stardom didn’t end there. The runways are now used by the television series ‘Top Gear USA’
4. Floyd Bennett Field – New York
Floyd Bennett Field was New York City’s first municipal airport. It began regular operation in May of 1931. In 1972 the airport was closed to the public due to the opening of Newark Airport in New Jersey. The airport saw a few more years of activity by the United States Coast Guard. It now sits empty to air traffic but see its fair share of people. It has been turned into a park.
3. Gaza International Airport – Palestine
These ghostly remnants once saw over 700,000 travelers a year pass through its terminals. This airport started service in 1998 and its glory days did not last long at all. In 2001, just a few short years after its opening, the Israeli army destroyed the radar tower and damaged many of the buildings at the location. A few weeks later the runway system was torn apart by bulldozers. The remaining buildings now stand in silence as a monument to the on going turmoil in the region.
2. Johnston Atoll Airport – United States
Johnston atoll is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is 860 miles away from the island of Hawaii. This tiny island is 3,200 acres. Talk about tiny but it was big enough to but a naval air station on. The airport has been used since World War II for many different things but now sits empty and is used a wildlife refuge. The only way to visit the location is with approval of the United States government.
1. Stapleton Internation Airport – Denver, Colorado
This airport was one of the main hubs of Middle America for almost seven decades. It began its service in 1929 and saw thousands of flights a year until 1995. The airport closed its doors when the Denver International Airport opened its gates to millions of travelers. A massive storm stuck the facility in 1997 and caused catastrophic damage to the building. The only piece left standing to this day is the control tower and a small section of the building that has yet to collapse.