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Atyrau, Kazakhstan

Atyrau Airport

At 72 feet below sea level, it's the lowest commercial airport in the world. 

Most people associate airports with great heights. They are, after all, the gateway to the sky. But the Atyrau Airport in Kazakhstan is a bit different, as its low elevation is what sets it apart from the rest.

The international airport, located 72 feet below sea level, is the lowest commercial airport in the world. It’s located on the grassy, flat stretches of land that surround the city of Atyrau.

Atyrau Airport is one of five international airports in all of Kazakhstan. It’s near the Caspian Sea, which is the planet’s largest enclosed inland lake and contains a robust amount of oil beneath the seafloor.

The airport plays a vital role in the local economy because it’s close to some of the country’s major sites for oil exploration. An oil company called KazMunayGas primarily uses the airport, though it still serves commercial traffic.

The city of Atyrau is home to a high density of oil and construction companies. The airport is located around five miles from its outer limits.