Top ten for ten.
Vertis Aviation is marking a decade of providing highly personalised aviation charter services to discerning travellers across the globe. To celebrate the milestone Vertis is curating a monthly Top 10 for 10 of inspiring aviation related themes reflecting the depth and breadth of its boutique approach to charter.
In anticipation of the slopes opening as the northern hemisphere ski-season begins, and to celebrate the new Vertis Aviation partnership with Leo Trippi, purveyors of extraordinarily luxurious ski experiences, the inaugural collection presents airports renowned for bringing travellers closer to the sparkling ski-slopes of Europe and the USA.
Ordered by altitude….
1. Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, USA, 2385m
The lofty heights of this mountain-town airport are just a snowball’s throw from Colorado’s highly desirable Aspen, Snowmass and Buttermilk ski resorts. Close proximity to the imposing mountains enforces a one-way in and one-way out policy to ensure aircraft safety and makes for some dramatic flying.
2. Courchevel Airport, France, 2007m
Sitting in the heart of the French Alps the airport boasts the first-ever inclined take off runway located next to active pistes. Pilots brave a very short runway (537m) with the highest uphill gradient in the world, and a steep approach to top it off. Certainly not for the faint of heart and an adrenaline-inducing ride into this glamourous resort.
3. Eagle County Regional Airport, Colorado, USA, 1996m
In 2012 the History Channel ranked this Colorado airport the eighth most extreme airport in the world. The high altitude, mountainous terrain approach, and unpredictable weather make for the occasional bumpy ride into this entryway for the beautiful ski runs of Vail, Beaver Creek and Copper Mountain.
4. Jackson Hole Airport, Wyoming, USA, 1965m
Nestled at the foot of the spectacular Teton Mountain Range within the Grand Teton National Park visitors may be greeted by elk or moose on arrival. The big skies setting makes for a fabulous starting point before skiing in style at Jackson Hole which, with its plethora of fine dining, art and culture, is one of the America’s most chic resorts.
5. Samedan Airport, St Moritz, Switzerland, 1707m
Surrounded by dramatic peaks Samedan is famed for its challenging winds, topography and breath-taking approach. Located in the heart of Engadin valley, the stunning St Moritz resort is famed for attracting elite guests, glitterati, and celebrities on a range of private jets. Said to be the birthplace of skiing, the now famed snow-polo tournaments launched here in 1985, and the singularly spectacular White Horse Turf races are run over three Sundays in February.
6. Gstaad Saanen Airport, Switzerland, 1001m
Julie Andrews is famously quoted for saying “Gstaad is the last paradise in the crazy world”. In our current times we may all benefit from a trip to the stunning ski resort just a swift five minutes from the airport. The short Saanen runway welcomes propeller aircraft, such as the enduring Pilatus PC-12, for an amazing arrival into the Bernese Alps.
7. Innsbruck Airport, Austria, 580m
A mountainous amphitheatre limits traffic to smaller airliners and private jets, with strong gusts of winds caused by the Alps creating a challenging landing for even experienced pilots. Mayrhofen, Seefeld, St Anton, Ischgl, and St Johann are close by offering fabulous skiing and even better apres-ski in charming Austrian resorts burrowed in the Alps’ valleys.
8. Sion Airport, Switzerland, 482m
Often called the gateway to Zermatt, Sion provides a great alternative to the Geneva and Zurich airports, and is also close to famed Verbier and Saas-Feer resorts. Whether skiing in the Alps or simply enjoying the view of the prominent Matterhorn, visitors unwind by indulging at Michelin-starred restaurants, sip wine steeped in a heritage dating back 100 years, or enjoy thermal springs nestled amidst the astounding views.
9. Salzburg Airport, Austria, 430m
Branded as Salzburg W.A. Mozart airport and one of the larger Austrian airports, Salzburg Airport is still small enough to drop in on your private jet and transit quickly to the slopes. Zell am See, Obertauern and eminent Kitzbuehel, with its notoriously dangerous World Cup downhill race at the Hahnenkamm, are within easy reach for aspiring ski champions.
10. Chambery Airport, France, 234m
Last but not least Chambery is located just south of France’s largest freshwater lake. Astonishing views of clear blue water reflect a mountainous skyline on approach for landing. The centrally located airport offers easy access to numerous world-renowned skiing destinations within leading French ski-ranges including Les Trois Vallees resorts (Meribel, Val Thorens, La Tania and Courchevelle), Alp d’Huez, Chamonix and Les Deux Alpes.