Shortest Airport Runways in the World

While most modern commercial aircraft need a covered runway of at least 6,000 feet in length, many early aircraft were designed to operate from improvised stripes in small areas.

Los Angeles’s Grand Central Airport marked a milestone in aviation history and had a 1,200-foot (370 m) runway during its first six years of operation from 1923 to 1929. Such short runways are used by heavy as well as light aircraft.

During the Doolittle Raid in WW II, twin-engine B-25 bombers with a loaded weight of seventeen tons took off the carrier USS Hornet’s 827-foot (252 m) flight deck.

As late as 1977, a Lockheed Constellation showed its capability to use the 2,700-foot (820 m) runway of the Greenwood Lake Airport in New Jersey.

In 1946, a lightened Constellation took off from a grass strip in 2,000 feet (600 m) on only three engines. Most public flying aircraft have this short-field performance.

The Cessna 172, the most produced airplane in history, will take off in as little as 720 feet (220 m) when fully loaded.

Many small airfields capable of adapting these types remain in use, mostly in remote areas in the American West and the French Alps, where space is limited. Here is the list of the shortest airport runways in the world.

Shortest Airport Runways in the World

ICAO Code

Name

Location

Length

1ID9

Simko Field Airport

Inkom, Idaho

400

Ted Luark Airstrip

Huson, Montana

500

Mile Hi Airstrip

Yellow Pine, Idaho

560

Dewey Moore Airstrip

Big Creek, Idaho

700

James Ranch Airstrip

Warren, Idaho

800

MT94

Ousel Falls Airport

Big Sky, Montana

900

Simonds Airstrip

Yellow Pine, Idaho

900

EGEW

Westray Airport

Westray, Scotland

955

ME46

Back Acres Airport

Kennebunkport, Maine

1000

27MT

Rahn Airport

Kalispell, Montana

1000

5NA0

Semchenko Airport

Max, North Dakota

1100

Vines Airstrip

Big Creek, Idaho

1100

4NY8

Harris Hill Gliderport

Elmira, New York

1115

LFJD

Corlier Aerodrome

Corlier, France

1148

WA39

Crow Valley Airport

Eastsound, Washington

1171

3NA2

Lorentzen Airport

Washburn, North Dakota

1200

Red Creek Airstrip

Payson, Arizona

1200

MT42

Hasskamp Airport

Three Forks, Montana

1225

89OR

Mucky Flat Airport

Eagle Point, Oregon

1250

EGNF

Netherthorpe Airfield

Worksop, England

1253

26OG

Oakridge Airport

Eagle Point, Oregon

1275

08ND

Brecht Strip

Golden Valley, North Dakota

1300

MYCC

Cat Cays Airport

North Cat Cay, The Bahamas

1300

30MT

Nistler Strip

Helena, Montana

1304

TNCS

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport

Saba

1312

LSZO

Luzern-Beromünster

Neudorf, Lucerne, Switzerland

1312

FXME

Matekane Air Strip

Matekane, Lesotho

1312

2NA0

Soderquist Airport

Wilton, North Dakota

1320

LFKX

Méribel Altiport

Les Allues, France

1332

NV31

Barker Creek Ranch Airstrip

Round Mountain, Nevada

1350

EICN

Coonagh Aerodrome

Limerick, Ireland

1365

ID13

Sky Island Ranch Airport

St. Maries, Idaho

1400

40MT

Silver Creek Airport

Helena, Montana

1400

N61

Hinshaw (Greenacres) Airport

Liberty, North Carolina

1400

OG13

Fly by Night Airport

Ruch, Oregon

1402

LFHM

Megève Altiport

Megève, France

1424

Flugplatz Locher Sarntal

Locher, Italy

1434

MT06

Duncan Airport

Helena, Montana

1467

WA93

Eliza Island Airport

Eliza Island, Washington

1500

LFHU

Alpe d'Huez Airport

Alpe d'Huez, France

1500

84OR

B Bar Ranch Airport

Selma, Oregon

1500

0MT9

Lone Hawk Airport

Whitefish, Montana

1500

MT83

Ten Mile Airport

Helena, Montana

1500

PAMD

Middleton Island Airport

Middleton Island, Alaska

1500

C48

Wilson Bar Airstrip

Warren, Idaho

1500

2WA3

Stuart Island West

Stuart Island, Washington

1560

EDXH

Heligoland Airport

Heligoland, Germany

1575

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