Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (IATA: SAB, ICAO: TNCS) is the only airport on the Caribbean island of Saba. It is widely regarded as having the shortest commercially serviceable runway in the world
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (IATA: SAB, ICAO: TNCS) is the only airport on the Caribbean island of Saba. It is widely regarded as having the shortest commercially serviceable runway in the world.
Despite a reputation as the most dangerous airport in the world, no accidents have occurred at Juancho E. Yrausquin. The airport’s risky reputation arises from the airport’s physical position: it is flanked on one side by high hills; and on the runway’s other side and both ends, cliffs drop into the sea. Additionally, the runway at the airport is extremely short (400m); this creates the possibility that an airplane could under/overshoot the runway during landing or takeoff and end up in the sea or dashed on the rocky cliffs.
Although the airport is officially marked as closed to traffic, regional airline propeller aircraft are able to land there under waivers from The Netherlands Antilles’ Civil Aviation Authority. The most common aircraft to land there are the Twin Otter and BN-2 Islander
Irausquin Airport can be seen from some places in Saint Martin.
Jet aircraft are unable to land at the airport, because the runway is too short (approx. 1,300 ft or 396 m). However, smaller airplanes (DHC-6, BN-2 and helicopters) are common sights there. There is a small ramp and terminal on the south side of the runway. The ramp also has a designated helipad. The terminal building houses offices for Winair, immigration and security, a fire department with one fire truck and a tower. The tower is an advisory service only and does not provide air traffic control. Aviation fuel is not available on the island of Saba.
The only airline currently serving Irausquin Airport is locally owned Winair, which operates daily flights to Sint Maarten and Sint Eustatius aboard a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter. The flight to Sint Maarten takes about twelve minutes.