Friday Flyday: Landing on the world’s shortest runway

Most people have never heard of Juancho Yrausquin and even fewer can pronounce his name. But when the people of Saba needed a better means to connect to the rest of the world he took on the task of building an airport on a tiny spit of land at one end of the island. And by tiny I really, really mean it. The runway in service today a Juancho Yrausquin Airport (yeah, they named it after him) is either 1,000 or 1,300 feet long (different sources have different answers) but either way it is generally accepted to be the shortest runway in the world offering commercial service.

saba-winair-boarding-pass (1)

Winair flies in a few times each day and last week I happened to be on one of those flights.

Best I can tell the flight path is to aim for the mountain which is Saba (and use the GPS, I suppose) and then, when you’re reasonably close, turn left and drop down on to the asphalt. Oh, and don’t forget to slam on the brakes once you’re on the ground.

Definitely an adventure getting in there. An awesome adventure.


For when the air conditioning isn't strong enough
For when the air conditioning isn’t strong enough

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. About the same overall length as a carrier, though catapults and arresting wires make takeoffs and landings “easier” 🙂

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