Which Airports Are Furthest From The City They’re Named After?

In our increasingly interconnected world, many cities are now served by multiple airports. While this helps give both incoming and outgoing passengers more options, there can sometimes be a catch. Specifically, it is important to be aware that some airports are rather a long way from the city that they serve. But which are the most distant? Let’s find out.

Boeing 737 silhouette
Europe is a particular hotspot for distant airports. Photo: Getty Images

The furthest of them all

Readers familiar with the French commercial aviation scene will know that several different commercial airports serve Paris. CDG and Orly are not far from the French capital, while the more distant Beauvais–Tillé offers a low-cost alternative. However, despite being more than 80 km/50 miles away, this is not Paris’s most distant airport.

Indeed, sources such as Lonely Planet list Châlons Vatry Airport as the most distant from the city that it serves. Located around 160 km/100 miles from the French capital, driving to Paris itself from Châlons Vatry takes more than two hours. It used to be a military base before opening commercially in 2000. Today, Ryanair serves it from Morocco and Portugal.

Paris Vatry Airport
Being a former military base, Vatry has a 3,860-meter runway. Photo: Antoine Fleury-Gobert via Wikimedia Commons

Despite its distance from the French capital, the airport has been marketed unofficially as Paris Vatry Airport. It has even also been referred to as Paris-Vatry (Disney). While it is closer to this famous resort, it is still some 130km/80 miles away by road.

A particularly European phenomenon

Europe has several airports that lie a considerable distance from the city they serve. The rise of budget carriers across the continent like easyJet, Ryanair, and Wizz Air has seen this increase. They aim to reduce operating costs by serving smaller, more distant facilities.

You can find multiple instances of this in Germany. For example, airlines sometimes market Memmingen Allgäu Airport as Munich West. This is despite it being some 120km/75 miles from the Bavarian capital. Meanwhile, Frankfurt Hahn is further away at around 125km/78 miles. Indeed, it is approximately equidistant between Frankfurt and Luxembourg.

Frankfurt Hahn Airport, HNA Group, Insolvent
Ryanair opened a base at Frankfurt Hahn in 2002. Photo: Getty Images

Elsewhere on the continent, Scandinavia also houses several airports that require a long drive to reach their named city. Stockholm alone has two such facilities: the airports at Skavsta and Västerås are both around 105km/65 miles away. In neighboring Norway, Oslo Torp Airport near Sandefjord is a 120 km/75 miles drive from the country’s capital.

Being a smaller country, the UK doesn’t have quite such distant airports. However, there is one notable exception. London Oxford Airport is around 100 km/60 miles from the British capital, lying approximately halfway between there and Birmingham. However, as Simple Flying explored in January, Oxford hasn’t seen airline service for several years.

Oxford Airport Tower
It has been several years since London Oxford Airport’s tower handled a scheduled commercial flight. Photo: Tom Loze-Thwaite via Wikimedia Commons

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The rest of the world

Of course, Europe isn’t the only part of the world where you can find airports that require a but of a road trip to reach their named city. Indeed, head across the Atlantic Ocean and you’ll find that even New York has one. Specifically, New York Stewart International Airport lies some 115 km/71.5 miles north of the Big Apple by road.

Meanwhile, when it comes to Asia, Lonely Planet notes that even Kuala Lumpur’s primary airport is still 67.5 km/42 miles from the Malaysian capital. Meanwhile, Amusing Planet reports that Tokyo Narita Airport is around 60 km/37 miles away from the heart of the world’s most populous metropolitan area. This requires a 50-minute drive.

What’s the most distant airport in relation to the city that it serves that you’ve ever visited? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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