Castellón–Costa Azahar Airport
|Castellón–Costa Azahar Airport
Aeropuerto de Castellón-Costa Azahar
Aeroport de Castelló
Statue in the airport built in 2012
|IATA: none – ICAO: LEDS|
|Serves||Castellón de la Plana|
|Location||Vilanova d'Alcolea, Benlloch|
|Elevation AMSL||350 m / 1,145 ft|
Castellón–Costa Azahar Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Castellón-Costa Azahar, Valencian: Aeroport de Castelló), (ICAO: LEDS)is an airport in Vilanova d'Alcolea and Benlloch in Spain. The airport was officially declared "open" by local authorities in March 2011, shortly before regional elections and as total cost reached €150 million, despite having neither airlines signed up to land there nor government approval to operate. Delayed for several years, commercial flights were due to begin on 1 April 2012, but as of December 2014[update], there have been none.
The airport has become a symbol of the wasteful spending that has helped sink Spain deep into a recession and a banking crisis. The airport was, for instance, recently found to have spent 26 million euros sponsoring various sports teams in its region.
A $375,000, 24 metre tall statue, often interpreted as a representation of Carlos Fabra, the formerly powerful local politician who was the driving force behind its construction, was erected in the airport. Fabra has been under judicial investigation in connection with several cases of corruption and tax evasion.
Spanish newspaper ABC has reported that those in charge of the airport are hoping that low-cost airline Ryanair will also fly to and from Castellon.
Finally, on January 14, 2015, the first flight departed from Castellón-Costa Azahar. Flight YW2003 carried the Villarreal CF football team to San Sebastián for their Copa del Rey match against Real Sociedad.
The airport has a single runway (06/24), 2,700 m (8,858 ft) long and 45 m (147 ft) wide which could service national and international commercial flights (regular and charter). In February 2012, El País reported that modifications would have to be made to the runway before the airport could be brought into use. It was then later reported that the runway was to be dug up entirely.
- "Castellon-Costa Azahar Airport - LEDS - Airport Guide". AirportGuide.com. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "ECCAIRS 4.2.8 Data Definition Standard – Location Indicators by State". 17 September 2010. p. 99. Retrieved 24 April 2014. This doc shows "LECS" as the code for "Sevilla", so it cannot be the correct one for this airport.
- Burns, Justin (27 January 2014). "Investors bidding for Spanish 'ghost airport'". Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Spain's Vacant Airport Typifies European Woes". Miller-McCune
- "In Spain, a Symbol of Ruin at an Airport to Nowhere". New York Times. July 18, 2012.
- "EU denuncia que el aeropuerto de Castellón gastó 26 millones en patrocinios". El Pais. April 4, 2014.
- Fabra, María (2012-02-14). "Airstrip at Castellón's plane-free airport needs to be widened". El País. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- Fiona, Movan (2012-02-15). "Spanish 'ghost' airport's unused runway to be dug up". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
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