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World's 10 most scenic airport approaches

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World's 10 most scenic airport approaches - Airports / Routes publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Source: CNN

Not having to climb over snoring seat mates to get to the toilet often trumps the desire to gaze at fluffy white clouds and brown squares of farmland as the plane descends.

There are, however, exceptions.

Earlier PrivateFly, a global booking platform for private jet charters, conducted a global survey of the world's most scenic airport approaches.

When you're flying into these 10 beauties, which offer views of everything from mountainous landscapes to glittering skyscrapers, you're going to want to be in that window seat.

New Zealand's Queenstown Airport came out the big winner, followed by Las Vegas McCarran Airport and Nice Cote D'Azur Airport in France.

The PrivateFly Best Airport Approaches 2015 poll was conducted in March and April of this year and received more than 3,000 individual votes, says the company.

A total of 147 global airports received nominations.

"Our poll has become an annual checklist for the well-traveled, and offers a fascinating mix of global descents," says Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly and an experienced pilot.

"From iconic city views such as Las Vegas and London City; to tiny remote airstrips such as Saba in the Caribbean (the world's shortest commercial runway); and the unique beach landing at Barra in the Outer Hebrides."

Here are the top 10 scenic airport approaches, according to PrivateFly's 2015 survey.

1. Queenstown Airport, New Zealand

Queenstown Airport is the only international airport in the south-western area of New Zealand's South Island, says PrivateFly. Located in the heart of New Zealand's magical landscapes of mountains, lakes and wild rivers, there's little surprise it was voted the world's most scenic airport approach.

2. Las Vegas McCarran Airport, United States

For those with dreams of hitting it big on the tables, nothing beats the flight into the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Those in the window seat get to see the city appear magically from the desert, as views of glittering Las Vegas Boulevard -- aka "the Strip" -- come into view.

3. Nice Cote D'Azur Airport, France

Nice Cote d'Azur Airport is located 3.7 miles southwest of Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes department of France. It's the main point of arrival for passengers to the Cote d'Azur (French Riviera) area.

4. Barra Airport, Scotland, UK

Barra Airport in Scotland is the only airport in the world where scheduled and private charter flights land and take off from the beach. At high tide, the runways are under water, says PrivateFly.

5. St. Maarten Airport (Princess Juliana International), Caribbean

On St. Maarten, Princess Juliana Airport (named after Dutch royalty) has people grabbing for their cameras every time a plane makes its way to the runway, which starts mere meters from the edge of the ocean.

6. Saba Airport (Juancho E Yrausquin), Caribbean Netherlands

Juancho E Irausquin Airport is the only airport on the Caribbean island of Saba, a special municipality of the Netherlands. It's got the shortest commercial runway in the world (1,299 feet long) and is flanked on one side by high hills, with cliffs that drop into the sea at both ends, says PrivateFly.  Due to the runway length, only small aircraft and helicopters use it.

7. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada

Commonly known as Toronto Island Airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a small facility located on an island in Lake Ontario in Canada's largest city.  <br />At ground level it's only accessible by passenger ferry and is used by regional airliners, private aviation, small charter flights and medical emergency flights.

8. Gibraltar Airport, UK

Located just 500 meters from the city center, Gibraltar's airport landing strip shares space with one of the island's main roads. Pedestrians and cars on this British territory need to stop on either side of the runway every time an aircraft takes off or lands, says PrivateFly.

9. London City Airport, UK

No need for an express train when you're flying into London City Airport, the closest airport to central London. On a clear day, those in a window seat will get great views of the Thames and London landmarks. For pilots, London City Airport offers a challenging landing. PrivateFly says the glide path is set at stomach-churning 5.8 degrees as opposed to the usual 3 degree glide path.

10. Cape Town Airport, South Africa

Cape Town International's runway offers views of South Africa's famous Table Mountain, located approximately 29 miles from the airport. PrivateFly voters ranked it as the world's 10th best airport approach.

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