Here's What It Actually Looks Like to Take Off and Land on the World's Shortest Commercial Runway

Get ready to ride the edge of your seat!

Landing a plane is no easy feat, especially when you're landing on the Caribbean island of Saba, home to the world's shortest runway.

Welcome to the day job of the Winair (Windward Islands Airways International) pilots. This Saint Martin-based airline operates a fleet of seven aircraft and services the Lesser Antilles in the northeastern Caribbean. They transport passengers to Saba, landing and taking off on the 400-meter (roughly 1,300-foot) runway located on this tiny Caribbean island. Built into the side of a mountain along rocky terrain, the narrow runway sits on top of a cliff with the blue waters of Cove Bay down below. This nail-biting landing can only be made in certain turboprop planes equipped and agile enough to perform the short stop.

A video uploaded by Just Planes shows a landing and takeoff performed by a skilled pilot, complete with a quick stop upon landing, and the fast lift needed to pull the plane up and over the ocean. Pilots can land on the runway from both sides, depending on the wind conditions, swinging their plane as far as 180 degrees at the end of the runway to prepare for liftoff.

The runway at Saba's Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport was built on one of the only flat areas found on the island, according to Saba's Tourism Board, and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world's shortest commercially serviceable runway. Completed in 1963, this asphalt runway, funded by the Dutch government, officially opened for service in September of the same year to those willing to endure the short takeoff and landing. In 1988, Hurricane George destroyed the airport's terminal, which was then rebuilt and finished in 2002.

Only a 15-minute flight from Saint Martin, Saba is home to prime scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities in the Saba National Marine Park. Dive sites include reefs, wrecks, caves, and the Pinnacles, a unique underwater volcanic rock formation. Mt. Scenery, the island's active volcano, can be summited by foot via a steep, half-day hike. The island contains four towns, Windwardside, The Bottom, Hell's Gate, and St. Johns, housing fewer than 2,000 full-time residents. Windwardside is home to most of the island's shops, restaurants, and hotels, as well as the Harry L. Johnson museum.

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