Barcelona–El Prat Airport
|Barcelona El Prat Airport
Aeroport de Barcelona – el Prat
|IATA: BCN – ICAO: LEBL|
|Location||El Prat de Llobregat|
|Elevation AMSL||14 ft / 4 m|
|Passenger change 11-12||2.2%|
|Movements change 11-12||4.3%|
|Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA
Spanish AIP, AENA
Barcelona El Prat Airport (IATA: BCN, ICAO: LEBL) (Catalan: Aeroport de Barcelona – el Prat, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Barcelona-El Prat), simply known as Barcelona Airport, is located 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of the centre of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, lying in the municipalities of El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans, and Sant Boi.
The airport is the second largest in Spain behind Madrid Barajas Airport and 31st busiest in the world, and is the main airport of Catalonia. It is a main base for Vueling, a hub for Iberia Regional and low-cost giant Ryanair as well as a focus city for Air Europa. The airport mainly serves domestic, European and North African destinations, also having flights to Southeast Asia, Latin America and North America. The Airport was a hub for Spanair before it suspended services on January 27, 2012.
The Barcelona–Madrid air shuttle service, known as the "Puente Aéreo" (in Spanish), or "Pont Aeri" (in Catalan) literally "Air Bridge", was the world's busiest route until 2008, with the highest number of flight operations (971 per week) in 2007. The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when a Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line was opened, covering the distance in 2 hours 30 minutes, and quickly became popular.
In 2011, nearly 34.4 million passengers used Barcelona Airport, a 17.8% increase compared with 2010, making it the 9th busiest airport in Europe. In 2012, Barcelona Airport handled 35.1 million passengers, and as the only of the major airports of Spain reported an increase.
Barcelona's first airfield, located at El Remolar, began operations in 1916. However, it did not have good expansion prospects, so a new airport at El Prat opened in 1918. The first plane was a Latécoère Salmson 300 which arrived from Toulouse with final destination, Casablanca. The airport was used as headquarters of the Aeroclub of Catalonia and the base for the Spanish Navy's Zeppelin fleet. Scheduled commercial service began in 1927 with an Iberia service to Madrid Cuatro Vientos Airport. This was Iberia's first route. During the time of the Second Spanish Republic El Prat was one of the bases of LAPE (Líneas Aéreas Postales Españolas).
In 1948, a runway was built, today 07-25, in the same year the first overseas service was operated by Pan American World Airways to New York City, using a Lockheed Constellation. Between 1948 and 1952, a second runway was constructed (runway 16–34), perpendicular to the previous, also taxiways were constructed and a terminal to accommodate passengers. In 1963, the airport reached one million passengers a year. A new control tower was built in 1965 and the terminal was rebuilt in 1968 (currently the oldest wing of Terminal B). On 3 August 1970, Pan American World Airways inaugurated regular service between Barcelona, Lisbon and New York, operated by a Boeing 747. On 4 November of the same year, Iberia began the "Air-shuttle" service between Barcelona and Madrid-Barajas. A few years later, in 1976, a terminal was built specifically for Iberia's air-shuttle service and a terminal exclusively for cargo, an annexed mail service and an aircraft ramp for air cargo. In 1977, the airport handled over 5 million passengers annually.
From the late seventies to the early nineties, the airport was stalled in traffic and investments until the 1992 Summer Olympics held in Barcelona. El Prat underwent a major development consisting in the modernization and expansion of the existing terminal (terminal B) and the construction of the other two (A and C terminals) which included jetways for direct access to the aircraft. This reform was designed by architect Ricardo Bofill Levi. In 1992, a new control tower was inaugurated also designed by Ricardo Bofill Levi.
A new control tower was opened in 2006. The new Terminal 1 was inaugurated on June the 16th, 2009, covering 545,000 m². 70% of today's flights operate from Terminal 1. The old terminals A, B and C are now Terminal 2.
Due to the strong drop in air traffic after 1999 and the crisis in the aviation sector in 2001 many charter operations from Girona and Reus were diverted to El Prat, which helped the airport to survive the crisis.
El Prat today 
Most of the traffic at Barcelona Airport is domestic and European, in which Vueling has an operational base. However, the number of intercontinental connections has not received a highly significant amount of passenger traffic. The lack of numerous intercontinental connections has been a constant cause of complaint and pressure by the authorities and Catalan groups in recent years, who want the airport to become a centre of world air traffic distribution and not just European.[by whom?]
In recent years, the traffic of low-cost airlines has grown significantly, especially after the creation of operating bases by Vueling and Clickair at the airport. Vueling and Clickair merged in July 2009, and they now operate under the name of Vueling. There are other low-cost airlines operating from the airport including easyJet, WizzAir, and Ryanair who have established a new base at the airport starting September 2010.
The airport has 3 runways, two parallel, nominated 07L/25R and 07R/25L (the latter opened in 2004), and a cross runway 02/20. There are two terminals: T2, which is the sum of the previous Terminals A, B and C, located on the north side of the airport and T1, on the west side, which opened on 2009-06-16. The two terminals have a combined total of 268 check-in counters and 64 boarding gates. Operations at the airport are restricted exclusively to IFR (instrumental flights), except for sanitary VFR flights, emergency and government.
A plan for expansion (Plan Barcelona) includes a third terminal building (also designed by Ricardo Bofill) and control tower. An additional runway (07R/25L) has also been built. Once these developments were completed in 2009, the airport is capable of handling 55 million passengers annually (compared to 33 million passengers in 2007). The airport is slated to expand in area from 8.45 to 15.33 square kilometres (3.26 to 5.92 sq mi) by 2009. A further expansion is planned to be finished by 2012, with a new satellite terminal which will raise the capacity to 70 million passengers annually.
The airport is the subject of a political discussion over the management and control between the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Spanish Government, which has involved AENA (airport manager) and various airlines, Iberia and Spanair mainly. Part of the controversy is about the benefits that the airport generates, which are used in maintenance and investments in other airports in the network of AENA and government investments in other economic areas.[by whom?]
Terminal 1 
The new Terminal 1 designed by Ricardo Bofill was inaugurated on 16 June 2009. This new Terminal 1 has an area of 648,000 m2 (6,980,000 sq ft), and an aircraft ramp of 600,000 m2 (6,500,000 sq ft).
Its facilities include:
- 258 check-in counters
- 60 jetways
- 15 baggage carousels (one of the new carousel is equivalent to 4 carousels in the old terminal) and
- 24,000 parking spaces, in addition to the 12,000 already in the terminal 2.
The forecast is that the airport will be able to handle 55 million passengers annually and will reach 90 operations an hour.
The extension of the airport with a total investment of €5.1 billion in the future will include a new satellite terminal and refurbishment of existing terminals. The civil engineering phase of the South Terminal has been made possible by a budget of €1000 million.
Terminal 2 
Terminal 2 was also designed by Ricardo Bofill Levi. Terminal 2 was designed to expand the airport before the arrival of the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. Following the opening of Terminal 1 in 2009, Terminal 2 became nearly empty until the airport authorities lowered landing fees to attract low-cost and regional carriers to fill the terminal, although nowhere near full capacity.
Airlines and destinations 
Passenger airlines 
Cargo airlines 
|British Airways World Cargo||East Midlands, London-Heathrow, London-Luton|
|Cargolux||Hong Kong, Jeddah, Luxembourg|
|FedEx Express||Paris-Charles de Gaulle|
|TNT Airways||Liege, Brussels|
|UPS Airlines||Cologne/Bonn, Valencia|
Busiest airlines 
|9||Swiss International Air Lines||734,550||2,09%|
Traffic and statistics 
|Rank||City||Passengers 2012||Top Carriers|
|1||Amsterdam, Netherlands||1,251,440||EasyJet, KLM, Transavia.com, Vueling|
|2||Paris-Charles de Gaulle, France||1,028,007||Air France, EasyJet|
|3||Paris-Orly, France||836,779||HOP!, Vueling|
|4||London-Gatwick, United Kingdom||742,151||Easyjet, Monarch|
|5||Rome-Fiumicino, Italy||739,708||Alitalia, Vueling|
|6||London-Heathrow, United Kingdom||737,571||British Airways|
|7||Munich, Germany||676,978||Lufthansa, Vueling|
|9||Lisbon, Portugal||603,543||EasyJet, Portugália, TAP Portugal, Vueling|
|10||Milan-Malpensa, Italy||589,618||Vueling, EasyJet|
|11||Zurich, Switzerland||560,721||Swiss International Airlines, Vueling|
|12||Geneva, Switzerland||528,891||Swiss International Airlines, Easyjet Switzerland|
|13||Brussels National, Belgium||523,105||Brussels Airlines, Vueling|
|14||Moscow Domodedovo, Russia||467,418||VIM Airlines, Transaero, Vueling|
|15||Vienna, Austria||441,896||Austrian Airlines, Vueling, Niki|
Font: Aeroport de Barcelona, AENA.
Ground transportation 
Terminal 2 has its own Rodalies Barcelona commuter train station on the line , which runs from the Maçanet-Massanes station, with major stops at Barcelona Sants railway station and the fairly central Passeig de Gràcia railway station to provide transfer to the Barcelona Metro system. Passengers for T1 must take a connecting bus from the train station to T1. As part of the major expansion above, a new railway station will be built nearby, connecting the airport to the Spanish AVE network, and Line 9 of the Barcelona Metro.
The Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) public bus on line 46 runs every 16 minutes from Plaça Espanya. A scheduled private bus line (Aerobús) from Plaça Catalunya, stops at Urgell and Plaça d'Espanya. Taxi stops are available at each terminal. The C-32B highway connects the airport to a main traffic interchange between Barcelona's Ronda de Dalt beltway and major motorways.
Airport parking 
Barcelona Airport has approximately 24,000 parking spaces (12,000 at T1 & 12,000 at T2), 2,009 of them are in the parking building, placed in front of Terminal 2C, which it is connected to the airport by a covered corridor. In front of Terminal 2A, another parking building, which adds approximately 2,600 more spaces, this building is being extended with the construction of two new levels. The remainder are distributed in other areas on the exterior, in front of the terminal buildings and offices buildings. Since 16/6/2009, there is also a long stay parking between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Incidents and accidents 
- On 21 October 1994 a Falcon 20 cargo aircraft made an emergency landing at the airport after suffering a malfunction in its landing gear; none of the three crewmembers were injured.
- On 19 February 1998, two people, the commander and the pilot died in an Ibertrans general aviation plane crash in the borough of Gavà shortly after taking off from El Prat.
- On 28 July 1998 a general aviation cargo plane carrying press from Mallorca crashed next to one of the fences surrounding the airport, killing two crew members and co-pilot.
- On 1 July 2002, in the Überlingen mid-air collision, the Bashkirian Airlines aircraft involved was headed for El Prat Airport from Domodedovo Airport in Moscow.
- On 3 December 2010, during the Spanish air traffic controllers strike, Barcelona Airport remained inoperative when all Spanish air traffic controllers walked out in a coordinated wildcat strike. Following the walkout, the Spanish Government authorized the Spanish military to take over air traffic control operations. On the morning of December 4, the government declared a 'State of Alert', ordering the controllers back to work. Shortly after the measure was implemented, controllers started returning to work and the strike was called off.
- AENA passenger statistics and aircraft movements. Aena.es. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
- Spanish AIP (AENA)[dead link]
- "Orden FOM/1508/2011, de 18 de mayo, por la que se modifica la denominación oficial del Aeropuerto de Barcelona". BOE. (Spanish)
- "Barcelona-El Prat Airport - Aena Aeropuertos". Aena-aeropuertos.es. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- EUROCONTROL basic. Eurocontrol.int. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
- Spanair Suspends Operation – WSJ.COM – Retrieved on January 27th, 2012
- OAG reveals latest industry intelligence on the busiest routes. oag.com. 21 September 2007
- TRÁFICO DE PASAJEROS, OPERACIONES Y CARGA EN LOS AEROPUERTOS ESPAÑOLES – Spain AENA Airports
- Informes Anuales - 2012 - AENA
- Alas de la República: CLASSA , LAPE (1934)
- Barcelona / Plan Barcelona. Aena.es. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
- "New flight offers". Ryanair. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- "Schedule". City pairs Schedule. JSC "TRANSAERO" Airlines. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Vueling begin Barcelona-Beirut seasonal service from June 2013
- "Vueling flight schedules".
- "Испанский лоу-кост Vueling полетит из Барселоны в Киев". avianews.com by Aviation Today. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "Vueling ya vuela 100 rutas desde Barcelona" [Vueling now flies 100 routes from Barcelona] (in Spanish). February 15, 2013.
- Gallagher, Paul (9 July 2002). "Jet pilot's 14 seconds dilemma before fatal crash". Edinburgh: scotsman.com. Retrieved 2007-01-18.[dead link]
- Batty, David (December 4, 2010). "Spanish airports reopen after strike causes holiday chaos". guardian.co.uk (London). Retrieved 2010-12-05.
- Owen, Edward (December 4, 2010). "Spanish air traffic controllers marched back to work as airports reopen". telegraph.co.uk (London). Retrieved 2010-12-05.
Further reading 
- Zunino, Eric (November 2004) "Barcelona Airport", Airline World, pp. 40–43.
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