WEIRD WEDNESDAY: Airport Planning FAIL

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Gibraltar Airport is famous for two things: transporting British tourists to and from the Iberian Peninsula and its proximity to the city it serves. In fact, according to Wikipedia, it is “only 500 metres (or a little less than 1/3 of a mile) from Gilbratar’s city center.”

Although it sounds incredibly convenient, this close proximity creates problems. Major problems. These problems come in the form of traffic.

The main road that takes vehicles to and from the land border with Spain, Winston Churchill Avenue, actually crosses the active airport runway, so any time a plane lands or departs, this very busy thoroughfare is closed to car/truck traffic. It’s worse than a railroad crossing.

A new terminal was scheduled along with a new four lane road and tunnel that would reroute traffic under the runway. According to the Government of Gibraltar Press Office (May 14, 2007), “Gibraltar can no longer sustain a situation of severe traffic tailbacks, disruptions, and delay every time an aircraft takes off or lands. Accordingly, the Government will divert the main road leading to the north of the runway. This main road will no longer cross the runway at the center, as at present. [However], the road across the runway will remain in place, for exceptional, specific, or emergency use.  But it will not be available for routine day to day, private vehicular traffic.”

However, it is unclear if or when the projects will be completed. The original completion date was early 2009. Confirmation of project completion can not currently be made.

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