Abandoned Airports Brought Back To Life

Abandoned airport
Travis Estell, Flickr

We’re used to thinking of airports as places that flurry with activity no matter the hour. Much like a big city, they tend to be bustling hubs that never sleep. But all around the world, there are a number of airports that have been abandoned — vast structures that became ghost towns after economic problems caused them to fail and shut down.

The good news is that some of these zombie airports are now being given a new lease on life as they’re transformed into attractions like amusement parks or repurposed into places like schools.

In Sweden, the former Bulltofta Airport was turned into a park and entertainment zone. In Denver Colorado, Stapleton International Airport has been redesigned into a mixed-use housing community. And in Madrid, Spain, the Ciudad Real Central Airport is currently being used as the set of a film. So it got us wondering — what kinds of cool things would we like to see airports turned into?

  • A restaurant district. Just imagine all the quirky little places you could set up a restaurant. Sushi conveyor belt at the security checkpoint? Meals with a view in the air traffic control tower? It would sure beat the current airport dining experience.
  • Go kart racing tracks. How much fun would it be to whizz around on miles of airport tarmac? I mean, really, do we even need to sell you on this idea?
  • A hotel. Old airplanes and airport facilities would make a great site for a concept hotel. In fact, the Jumbo Stay hotel/hostel in Stockholm has already seized on this idea, turning an old Boeing 747 into a funky place to crash for the night.
  • A fitness center. Dragging ourselves through vast airport terminals is an absolute chore when we’re jetlagged and running late for our flight, but all that space is ideal when the goal is working out. And those moving walkways? Yup, they’re perfect built-in treadmills.

What else would you like to see old airports transformed into? Let us know in the comments!

Mexican resort beach shut down, accused of stealing sand

Visitors to a Cancun beach found themselves restricted by yellow crime-scene tape yesterday, when Mexican police cordoned off the beach under accusations that the sand was stolen.

According to the AP release, after Hurricane Wilma washed away much of the resort area’s beach in 2005, Mexico spent $19 million replacing it with sand pumped from the sea floor. That sand has been slowly eroding, prompting some resorts to build breakwaters, which keep their beaches nice and sandy, but result in more sand loss for the surrounding beach areas.

The Mexican police are claiming that the resorts who’ve built these breakwaters are, in effect, stealing the beach from others. They’ve also detained five people they believe were using pumps to bring up more sand from the ocean floor. Mexico’s Attorney General for environmental protection said the beach at the Gran Caribe Real Hotel was made of “ill-gotten, illegally accumulated sand” and decided to shut it down.

Many tourists and hotel guests gathered around the “stolen” beach area and complained about the closure. There was no indication of when the beach would reopen and at the time of writing, the resort’s webcam was not active on its website.