Barra Airport


A plane comes in to land on the sandy beach that is Barra airport.

We had heard about Barra airport, the only place in the world - so I am told - where a regular scheduled airline lands on a beach and has to adjust its flight times to the tide table! It was still a surprise to come round a corner and see the beach ringed with red signs warning tourists to abandon their sunbathing and keep a firm hold of their picnic baskets when the wind sock was flying!

We consulted the airport and discovered when the next plane was due, then came back in plenty of time to find a good spot for the camera in advance of the tourist hordes. In the event, I think there was one other person with a camera - and he, naturally, positioned himself right in front of me, nearly becoming the first murder victim on Barra since eighteen hundred and something. (What clots some people are!)

When the film first starts the aeroplane is a tiny silver dot up in top right of the screen, but it slowly grows in size as it descends to land in a cloud of salt spray and sea shell fragments. What made us laugh was the way the airport staff rushed to erect moveable barriers to guide passengers off the plane and up to the airport building.

For pity's sake! You could either get off the plane and head straight in front of you for the terminal building, or you could duck under the belly of the plane and start swimming. Mind you, given the thick-headedness of the man who stood in front of my camera, I suppose the guideposts were necessary!