Review: Barra Beach Landing

The world’s most stunning landing spot – Barra

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Voted the world’s most stunning landing spot. Barra’s airport is the only airport in the world to have scheduled flights landing on a beach!

Barra Airport (BRR/EGPR) is a short- runway airport situated in the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhòr at the north tip of the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The airport is unique, being the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway.The beach is set out with three runways, marked by wooden poles at their ends. This allows the Twin Otters that serve the airport to almost always land into the wind. At high tide these runways are under the sea – flight times vary with the tide.

The airport has an elevation of 5ft and it has 3 runways. The first one 07/25 is 2621ft long, second one 11/29 is 2231ft long and the third one 15/33 is 2776ft long. The beach is also popular with visitors and cockle pickers, who are asked to observe the windsock to see if the airport is in operation

I booked my ticket on Flybe.com and able to do a same day return on Saturday. The cost is about 150 pound roundtrip, which is actually cheaper than BA flights from London to Glasgow. I flew into Glasgow the night before and well rested with excellent Scottish Breakfast in the morning.

The next morning before flight, I met up my friend Steve, who works at Glasgow Airport. I was pleasantly surprised to be joined by another Aviation enthusiast, Mr Michel Klein from Luxembourg moments before boarding. What a nice co-incidence!

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I was the first to be boarded the 19 seater Twin Otter. The first row is blocked for weight balancing and storage of baggage. We sat in row 2. There were 11 passengers in total, quite a few are also doing the flight to just experience the unique beach landing.

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There is no wall between the cockpit and the cabin, so one can easily see the pilot flying the plane and photo/video from the seat.

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Flight time to Barra was just under 1 hour at 7,000 feet cruising altitude. The weather surprisingly cleared enroute to Barra.

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Video of the beach landing:

After landing, we were allowed to walk around the plane to have a quick photo and back to the terminal

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The small terminal at Barra

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A picture of Logan Air Shorts 360 was used to fly to Barra in the past.

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For 5 pounds, you can get your own personalized landing certificate with the airport master stamping it!

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Many locals came out to see the landing.

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We have about 4 hours before our return flight, so we joined a Day tour run by Rob Daly (http://www.barraislandtours.co.uk/) The tour is completely customized and fit to our timing. Rob showed up in his car and kindly took us around the whole island in the next few hours.

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Perhaps the world’s smallest Post Office, at the backyard of Postmaster’s house, how convenient!

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Catalina crash site and the wreckage remains.

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The main town at Barra: Castle Bay

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Kisumu Castle

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When the sun came out, Barra can be as nice as Caribbean! We certainly lucky!

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Back to the airport (beach) just in time for the inbound flight landing

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We had a wonderful few hours in Barra thanks to Rob’s warm hospitality and very knowledgeable guidance of the island. The island is very scenic and mostly relaxing.  I am glad to be able to do some sightseeing apart from the flight.

 

On the way back to Glasgow. Pls see the video for more footage.

 

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The landing in Barra is unique, one of a kind experience for everyone, not only for aviation enthusiast. It is an experience I strongly recommended to everyone. If time allow, you should spent at least 2 days in Barra for pure relaxation. The bonus on the twin otter is you can sit behind the pilots and watch them fly in and out of Barra, which is mostly interesting with amazing scenery.

Highly Recommended

Video Link: (To see all the landing and takeoff action with sound)

BoardingArea