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Travel expert lands on unique Scots airport runway that DISAPPEARS twice a day

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A TRAVEL expert has investigated a remote Scottish airport runway that disappears twice a day because of the tide.

Nicky Kelvin, editor at large at The Points Guy, visited the “incredibly unique” airport located on a tiny Scots island in a new video as part of his Airplane Mode series.

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Nicky kelvin of The Points Guy looked into the workings of the unique airport
Flights to Scots isle are based around the tide times as it washes away the beach

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Flights to Scots isle are based around the tide times as it washes away the beachCredit: Alamy
Pilots are expected to rely on skill and judgement to land planes on the remote island

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Pilots are expected to rely on skill and judgement to land planes on the remote islandCredit: Getty

Loganair operates two flights a day, flying from Glasgow Airport to the Isle of Barra, which is 40 miles off the west coast of Scotland.

The runway is based on the northern tip of the island in the wide, shallow bay of Traigh Mhòr.

Experienced pilots are expected to rely on their judgement to land on the public beach because it has “no lights or guidance”.

The airline has to plan the flights precisely according to the tide times as it washes away the white sands of the beach.

Kelvin interviewed Captain Laura Roper and First Officer Steven Cameron as part of the video.

Captain Roper explains that there are “no lights or guidance for landing”.

She said: “It’s all done by our own judgement.”

Captain Roper adds that the sand “cushions the landing a little bit” before wrapping up the chat to fly Kelvin to Barra on his first-ever flight in the Twin Otter turboprop.

Following his arrival in Barra, Kelvin meets Steve Wilson, the airport crew manager.

Wilson takes the travel expert onto the runway to make sure the area is free of debris from items that may have washed up with the tide.

The airport manager revealed that he must ensure that cockle pickers do not cause a runway incursion.

Kelvin told the MailOnline Travel: “It has been a lifelong dream of mine as a diehard aviation geek to travel to the incredibly unique airport of Barra.

“It’s the only commercial airport in the world with a beach as a runway, and provides for a very dramatic setting, not only because you are landing on the sand, but also because the runway disappears twice a day with the tide.

“The timings of the flights need to be well planned to make sure there is enough space on the beach for the plane to land and take off again.

He added: “It’s not just the concept that is dramatic and exciting, the actual landing is as amazing as you might imagine.

“You come in low over some of Scotland’s most stunning islands, with blue seas and white sands that could be mistaken for the Caribbean.

“In fact, Barra is known to some people as Barrabados.”

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