Are there any examples of runways that are under the cover of some terrain such as a runway built into the side of a mountain as a tunnel, perhaps with an entrance and an exit on both sides to facilitate go-arounds?

I could see advantages to this for national security purposes because of the natural protection from kinetic and explosive attacks provided by rock.

For example, I've spoken with Mormons who boasted that the Granite Mountain Records Vault could take a direct hit from a nuclear weapon and still remain intact.

I consider it a truism that any surface-based airport would be obliterated by a nuke.

I recognize that such a facility may not be declassified, but barring that, if they don't currently exist to public knowledge, is this something that would be reasonably possible to build?

  • $\begingroup$ Your description reminded me of visiting the Aeroseum in Sweden, which is a "nuclear-bomb-proof aircraft cavern built under a 30 meter thick rock massif". But only the hanger is in the mountain, the runway is outside, so it does not qualify... $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 13:10
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    $\begingroup$ While one may protect the runway itself and the planes parked along it, bombing the heck out of the entrance would likely close it enough to make it unusable. Dropping a nuke in the general vicinity would do likewise. Sounds like a great concept for science fiction or a James Bond movie, but totally impractical in reality. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ @FreeMan: Good remark, but what if they also built underground airways, which I suggest to name underways? $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 18:24
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    $\begingroup$ @mins: Also, instead of using wings to keep them off the ground, we could put them on something called "wheels" which run on steel "tracks". $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ @mins I could see the utility in training straight-and-level flight. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 13, 2021 at 21:36

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There have been rumors in the fringe media that North Korea was building an underground runway near the Southwest region of Wonsan in Kangwon Province, but that was 13 years ago and I couldn't find confirmation that it had been completed. The runway, which was to run northeast to southwest, was supposed to be paved in cement and run through a mountain through a 30-meter wide entrance. Aside from that, apparently no one has been crazy enough to try that.


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