The St Barths adventure begins just before the plane touches ground.
Gustaf III Airport has been named one of the world’s most challenging for landings because the runway begins at the bottom of a steep hill, stretches only 650 metres and leads straight to the water. Only small regional commercial aircraft and charters with pilots trained and certified for this type of landing are allowed.
First-timers often report a feeling of excitement tinged with fear when they see the water approaching as the plane’s brakes engage. But all fear subsides and the body begins to relax when the aircraft makes its slow and gentle U-turn at the end of the runway. You can only feel euphoric at the sight of suntanned bathers on the beach ahead and the confident sound of the pilot’s voice on the announcement: ‘Welcome to St Barths’.