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'Airport Collector' sets new record


You knew there were people who brag how many of the top peaks they've climbed, or how many countries they've visited and the like.

But you've probably never noticed the small fraternity of those who claim the most airports visited. As of yesterday, they, they have a new champion, Gunther Pitterka, from Salzburg, Austria, who's flown in or out of 1582 fields. Ironically, he originally undertook his quest, in 1995, to defeat his fear of flying.

In the course of his journey, he's clocked nearly 3 million kilometers (the equivalent of 73 times around the world) in recent years, with over 5400 hours in the air on 566 aircraft types flown by 743 airlines, landing in 189 countries.

The flight that broke the record yesterday was from Portoroz Airport in Istria to Aeroporto Nicelli, near Venice. The airport, which has only a grass runway today was Venice's main airport in the 1930s.

And what does Gunther Pitterka do when he's not bagging airports? He runs a rail-freight shipping company. On the ground.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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