"Crossing an active runway was interesting!" Border Crossings Tip by Bwana_Brown
Border Crossings, Gibraltar: 23 reviews and 22 photos
Gibraltar was originally joined to the Spanish mainland by only a sandy isthmus but the outbreak of World War II made the need for an airport mandatory as far as the British were concerned. As a result, in 1939 they 'enhanced' the isthmus by extending it sufficiently to allow an emergency airfield to be built for military operations. Since then it has been expanded further into the Bay of Gibraltar despite the objections of the Spanish government, especially since they were still not happy with the British presence in Gibraltar itself. This 6000 foot (1829 m) runway is now able to serve commercial jet traffic (although low demand has resulted in only a limited number of flights) and the entire dispute with Spain has also abated in recent years.
Today, the only land-crossing into Gibraltar is controlled by gates that allow passage across the airstrip only when flights are not about to take-off or land. In our case, we had no problems entering Gibraltar but, on the return journey, a 3-engine private jet of some sort taxied across our route as it prepared to take off (3rd photo). This resulted in an alarm going off and the gates coming down to bar vehicles and pedestrians from the airstrip until the plane had made its turn and then roared down the entire length of the runway for take-off. It certainly was an interesting way to enter and exit a country!
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