Every country has a small airport that was once functional and is now abandoned for several reasons. But why would people invest in such expensive projects to render them useless?
The history behind these airports will leave you at the edge of your seat. Here are some of the most expensive, weirdest, and biggest abandoned airports in the world.
Berlin Tempelhof, Germany
Constructed in 1923, this airport was the largest building in the world before the pentagon. But despite its iconic nature, it was rendered obsolete on October 31, 2008.
It was later renamed the “Tempelhof Field” as it became the largest public park in Berlin. The buildings are now used for events such as fashion shows and raves.
Johnston Airport, USA
Another historic abandoned airport around the globe is the Johnston Atoll Airport. This atoll is located in the Pacific Ocean, a few miles south of Hawaii. The US Military used it as its base throughout the mid-1980s but was closed down in 2005.
Despite its small size, it housed around 400 men and an underground hospital. During World War II, the Japanese attacked the airport, leaving it in ruins.
Nicosia International Airport, Cyprus
This was the most important airport in the country before Turkey invaded it in 1974. Today, the airport is a United Nations buffer zone, making it a no-man’s land.
Croydon Airport, England
Croydon Airport was built in 1929 and was the first airport in Britain to use air traffic control, making it an essential landmark in aviation history. Croydon Airport was also the first airport to cross a major road using a red flag. Famous people like Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and Winston Churchill visited the airport.
The airport was one of the finest firefighter stations in Britain that played a critical role during the Battle of Britain. However, it was bombed in the first air raid on London. It was officially closed on September 30, 1959, with most of the site built over time. A few roads were named after aircraft and aviators, such as Hurricane, Spitfire, and Brabazon. The control tower was salvaged and decorated by De Havilland Heron.
Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, USA
The airport served as the official airport in Austin, Texas, from 1928 to 1999. It was later closed and replaced by the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The only thing that remained of the old airport after the renovation was the old control tower.
Ellinikon International Airport, Greece
Athens’ first airport, Ellinikon, was built during World War II. The airport was partially redeveloped in 2001 but was turned into a venue for the Olympics.
A museum dedicated to the airport’s history opened in the former west terminal in 2011. Residents have long wanted to transform the rest of the airport into a public park, but there are also concerns about the fate of the land.
Floyd Bennett Field, USA Floyd Bennett Field
Established in 1972, Floyd Bennet was New York’s first municipal airport. Today, it is a public park under the management of the National Park Service.
Most of the historic buildings have been maintained, making it one of America’s most extensive campgrounds. In addition, it has hosted significant events such as the Amateur Astronomers Association and a couple of cycle races in New York.
Castellon-Costa Azahar Airport, Spain
Despite officially opening in March 2011, no flight has ever landed or left from Castellón – Costa Azahar Airport. This ridiculously expensive airport was built under a budget of 150 million euros in Valencia.
It serves as a statue of honour for Carlos Fabra, a local politician who ensured the smooth running and completion of the airport. In 2013, Carlos Fabra was sentenced to four years imprisonment for tax fraud.
Don Quijote Airport, Spain
Don Quixote Airport is another expensive abandoned airport. It was built in the 1990s to replace Madrid Barajas. Don Quijote was Spain’s first and last private international airport. It met its end in April 2012.
RAF Binbrook, England
Located in Lincolnshire, this iconic airport was used by bombers during World War II and was used by the Air Force until the 1980s. Despite being abandoned, it was used in the popular 1990 movie “Memphis Belle.”
This small airfield in New York was used as a military academy during the second world war. Galeville was used as a civilian airport after the war’s end for a couple of years. It is now a wildlife refuge under the management of Shawangunk Grassland National Wildlife Refuge.