Barcelona–El Prat Airport
|Barcelona–El Prat Airport
Aeroport de Barcelona–El Prat
|IATA: BCN – ICAO: LEBL|
|Location||El Prat de Llobregat|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||14 ft / 4 m|
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 34st 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 Middle East (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Dubai, Qatar), Asia (Pakistan, China and Singapore), Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Colombia), North America (United States and Canada) and Subsaharian Africa (Senegal and Gambia). 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. In 2012, Barcelona Airport handled 35.1 million passengers, making it the only of the major airports of Spain to report an increase. In 2013 Barcelona Airport handled 35,210,735 passengers. Currently, Barcelona-El Prat is the 10th busiest airport in Europe just behind London Gatwick Airport and right in front of Moscow Domodedovo Airport.
From February 2014 Barcelona-El Prat was the first Spanish airport to receive a daily Airbus A380 operated by Emirates on its routes to Dubai International Airport, an important milestone in its history.
- 1 History
- 2 Operations
- 3 Terminals
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Ground transportation
- 7 Incidents and accidents
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
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. In 1968, a new terminal was opened, which still exists and is in use as what is now Terminal 2B.
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 of the modernization and expansion of the existing terminal, which became known as Terminal B, and the construction of two further terminals flanking that, known as Terminals A and C respectively. The development 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, but this was replaced by another need control tower 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 known as Terminals 2A, 2B and 2C.
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.
On the 1st of February 2014, Barcelona-El Prat was the first Spanish airport to receive a daily flight with the Airbus A380, on the Emirates route to Dubai International Airport. Emirates has also recently announced that they will also bring daily their Boeing 777 to do the same route, so the catalan airport can offer the route twice a day, one with each aircraft. It has been announced as well that in 2015, Transaero Airlines will bring daily their A380 to Barcelona for its routes to Moscow.
One of the main airlines that operates out of Barcelona, Norwegian Air Shuttle, has announced its intention of starting long-haul routes out of Barcelona-El Prat, from 2016, to destinations such as New York John F. Kennedy International Airport and/or Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, operated by Boeing 787 aircraft.
Most of the traffic at Barcelona Airport is domestic and European, in which Vueling has an operational base. Intercontinental connections have not generated a significant amount of passenger traffic during the last years. In the early twenty-first century the airports number of passenger carried and the number of operations increased significantly.
Low-cost airline traffic grew significantly, especially after the creation of operating bases by Vueling and Clickair at the airport. Vueling and Clickair merged in July 2009, operating under the Vueling name. Other low-cost airlines operate from the airport, including Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, easyJet Switzerland, Wizz Air and Transavia.com. A new base was established at the airport in 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 16 June 2009. As of 2014[update] the two terminals had a combined total of 268 check-in counters and 64 boarding gates. Operations at the airport are restricted exclusively to Instrument flight rules (IFR) flights, except for sanitary, emergency and government VFR flights.
A plan for expansion (Plan Barcelona)  was completed in 2009, adding a third terminal building (also designed by Ricardo Bofill) and control tower. An additional runway (07R/25L) was also built. The airport became capable of handling 55 million passengers annually (up from 33 million in 2007). The airport expanded in area from 8.45 to 15.33 square kilometres (3.26 to 5.92 sq mi). Further expansion was planned to be finished by 2012, with a new satellite terminal to raise capacity to 70 million passengers annually.
The airport is the subject of a political discussion over 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?]
A new Terminal 1 designed by Ricardo Bofill was inaugurated on 16 June 2009. It is the fifth largest in the world, and has an area of 548,000 m2 (5,900,000 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[when?] 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 €1Billion.
Terminal 2 is divided into three linked sections, known as Terminal 2A, 2B and 2C. Terminal 2B is the oldest part of the complex still in use, dating back to 1968. Terminals 2A and 2C were added in order to expand the airport capacity before the arrival of the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. This expansion was also designed by Ricardo Bofill Levi.
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. Whilst this has helped, the complex is nowhere near full capacity, and Terminal 2A is currently unused. Terminal 2C is used only by easyJet flights, with flights to the UK using module M0, whilst flights to the rest of Europe use module M1. Terminal 2B is used by a number of airlines.
Airlines and destinations
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
|IAG 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|
|1||Vueling||12,173,029||Europe, Africa, Asia|
|9||Swiss International Air Lines||703,099||Europe|
|10||Norwegian Air Shuttle||608,858||Europe|
Font: Aeroport de Barcelona, AENA.
Terminal 2 has its own Rodalies Barcelona commuter train station on the line , which runs from the Maçanet-Massanes station every 30 minutes, 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, also in Clot station. Passengers for T1 must take a connecting bus from Terminal 2B to Terminal 1. As part of the major expansion above, a new railway station will be built[when?] in Terminal 1, connecting the airport to the Spanish AVE network, and Line 9 of the Barcelona Metro.
The Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) public bus line 46 runs 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.
There is provision for parking cars at the airport, with about 24,000 parking spaces.
Taxi from Barcelona Airport
Travelling by Taxi is a low cost and convenient way to get from the airport to the city centre, especially if you have a family or a lot of luggage.
You will find a taxi rank outside any of the main terminal exits Terminal 1 (T1) or Terminal 2 (and of the 3 buildings of Terminal 2 - T2A, T2B or T2C). Look for the sign pointing to the nearest taxi rank. The taxis operate all night and there are several hundred of them so you don't have to worry about not being able to catch a cab.
The journey to the city centre will take you between 25 to 40 minutes depending on road conditions. If you are travelling from Terminal 1 rather than Terminal 2, this will add an extra 4 km to your journey and take approximately 5 minutes more. Children under the age of 12 must be seated in the back seat of the car and supervised so that they do not distract the driver. Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted during the ride, even if the driver and passenger agree otherwise. The taxi is required to admit blind passengers accompanied by seeing eye dogs (Law of the Parliament of Catalonia 10/1993).
If you have special needs (i.e. wheelchair, special luggage, travelling 5 or 6 people) is better to book in advance your taxi from Barcelona Airport to your destination. There are a lot of local companies that provide pre-payed booking services. You can see the list at Institut Metropolità del Taxi website, Barcelona Tourism Bureau, Book Taxi Barcelona website or book easy a taxi with Taxi Barcelona Transfer English Speaking Taxi Service in Barcelona.
Expect to pay (by normal traffic conditions in a workday) around €30.00 for the journey into the centre from T2 and €40.00 for your journey from T1. There will also be an additional surcharge charge for each bag you're carrying and additional surcharge for Barcelona Cruise Port destination. You'll find the rates displayed inside the cab. Final price will depend on time and road conditions.
All official Barcelona taxis are black and yellow. The taxi service in Barcelona is generally very good, clean and reliable.
Taxi to Barcelona Airport
The taxi journey from Barcelona city centre to Barcelona airport takes about 25–40 minutes. Barcelona taxi cost from the Barcelona airport will be between 30 and 40 euros depending on your departure point, the traffic and the time of day.
In Barcelona and the municipalities of the metropolitan area, the most common ways to catch a cab in the street is to go to one of the taxi network stops which all of the municipalities have, or to use a hand signal to hail a cab when an empty one is approaching. At the stops, the customer must take the first vehicle in the order of departure at the stop. Circulating taxi drivers cannot pick up passengers within a 50-metre radius of a stop. The most suitable places to hail a cab in the street are the corners. Users must bear in mind that the taxi driver cannot make abrupt manoeuvres or stop the car in places that represent a hazard for traffic circulation.
The telephone is another effective means of calling a cab. You may request a taxi by calling one of the 20 taxi radio dispatch centres that operate in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. Many of these centres have a fleet management system that allows them to send a taxi to the place requested by the user. The assigned taxi number is communicated by telephone call or SMS message.
Lost and found For Lost and Found notifications you can call to IMT (Institut Metropolità del Taxi) at 902 101 564. More informations at IMT website
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 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
- Informes Anuales - 2013 – Spain AENA Airports
- Informes Anuales - 2012 - AENA
- Informes Anuales - 2013 - AENA
- Alas de la República: CLASSA, LAPE (1934)
- "History - Barcelona-El Prat Airport". aena. Retrieved 2014-12-12.
- Barcelona / Plan Barcelona. Aena.es. Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
- L, J (12 December 2014). "Belavia Plans Boeing 737-800 Service to Barcelona from mid-May 2015". Airline Route. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Ryanair Flight Timetable". Ryanair.
- "Ryanair Präsentiert Den Kölner Sommerflugplan 2015" (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- Vueling begin Barcelona-Beirut seasonal service from June 2013
- Vueling Adds 11 New Routes in Summer 2014
- "Vueling operará siete nuevas rutas desde Barcelona en verano, entre ellas, a Jerez de la Frontera". 20 Minutos. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 3 November 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.
- "Wizz Air timetable". Wizz Air.
- 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.
- Zunino, Eric (November 2004) "Barcelona Airport", Airline World, pp. 40–43.
Media related to Barcelona Airport at Wikimedia Commons