If you’re driving through the British overseas territory of Gibraltar and see a passenger jet crossing the highway, don’t worry: It was designed this way.
When planes are scheduled to land or take off from the single runway at the Gibraltar Airport, the road is closed by way of traffic signals and gates, and any pedestrians already on the runway are expected to get out of the way of the aircraft.
Although not an extremely busy airport, GIB handles several flights to and from London and Manchester each day. On average, the road is closed for 10 minutes for each flight in or out, which can lead to major traffic problems in the area.
After plans initially announced in 2007, Winston Churchill Ave. has been re-routed through a tunnel under the eastern end of the runway, which finally opened in March 2023. Pedestrians, cyclists, and scooters are still allowed to use the old crossing.