The world’s most remote airport has set people off after they realised just how cut off it is from the mainland – as well as the dangerous elements pilots have to deal with.
The major Japanese landing and take-off pad cost $20billion to construct, and has a runway almost double the length of most airports – at a whopping 4,000 metres. It is the country’s third largest, and primarily serves the cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.
Kansai International Airport is also the world’s first built on water, according to The Sun. The reason for this was to enable 24-hour flights as planning permission was easier to grant in an obscure location.
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However, the billions spent on the airport ignored its offshore nature as it was left hugely exposed to the weather – resulting in a terrible 2018 typhoon leaving passengers absolutely shaken with fear.
Typhoon Jebi – the most expensive in Japan’s history in terms of insured losses – led to the closure of Kansai International for a whopping nine days after a storm surge flooded the site and intense rain and wind battered the buildings.
To make things worse, the 3,000 metre bridge connecting the island arport to the Japanese mainland was severely damaged when a tanker was blown into it. The structure, originally costing $1billion, was fixed only seven months later.
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It recently announced that its staff would undergo earthquake and tsunami drills to be prepared for any disasters that may strike. In 2011, Japan was hit by the Tohoku earthquake – the fourth most powerful ever recorded – and its resulting tsunami, from which about 20,000 people died.
With man-made climate change causing an increase in sea levels and the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, the airport may have a long list of problems ahead.
It is not the only airport in a precarious location – Nepal’s Hillary-Tenzing Airport is similarly dangerous to visit and leave from. Situated on the edge of a cliff, it is the main entry point for the brave climbers who want to scale Kilimanjaro – but it has led to a number of deaths.
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