Gran Canaria Airport
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|Gran Canaria Airport
Aeropuerto de Gran Canaria
|IATA: LPA – ICAO: GCLP|
|Owner||Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea|
|Operator||Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea1|
|Location||Telde and Ingenio, Spain|
|Elevation AMSL||24 m / 78 ft|
|Passenger change 11–12||6.1%|
|Movements change 11–12||9.8%|
|Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA
Spanish AIP, AENA
Gran Canaria Airport (IATA: LPA, ICAO: GCLP), (sometimes also known as Las Palmas Airport, and formerly known as Gando Airport), (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Gran Canaria is a passenger and freight airport on the island of Gran Canaria. It is an important airport within the Spanish air-transport network (owned and managed by a public enterprise, AENA), as it holds the fifth position in terms both of passengers and cargo transported, and fourth in terms of operations. It is also ranks first of the Canary Islands in all three categories.
In 2011 it handled over 10.5 million passengers, a 11.1% increase compared to 2010, and 23,7 million tonnes of cargo (-3,5%). Gran Canaria Airport remains as a relevant connecting airport for passengers travelling to West Africa (Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Cape Verde, among others) and to the Atlantic Isles of Madeira and Açores. It is the operative base for Binter Canarias, NAYSA, Islas Airways, Ryanair and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Other airlines operate a base for connecting charter flights to Cape Verde and Gambia (TUIfly and TUIfly Nordic), only in winter season.
The airport is located in the eastern part of Gran Canaria on the Bay of Gando (Bahía de Gando), 19 km (12 mi) south of center of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and 25 km (16 mi) from the popular tourist areas in the south.
In 1919, Frenchman Pierre George Latécoère was granted clearance from the French & Spanish governments to establish an airline route between Toulouse & Casablanca. This also included stopovers in Malaga, Alicante and Barcelona.
The airport opened on 7 April 1930, after King Alfonso XIII signed a royal order announcing that the military air force installations on the Bay of Gando would become a civilian airfield. In its existence, the airport has become the largest gateway into the Canary Islands, as well as the largest in terms of passenger and cargo operations.
In 1946, the old passenger terminal opened, which took two years to build. In 1948 a runway was built, which was completed and fully tarmaced in 1957.
In 1963, improvements to the airport were made. This included new parking spaces, enlargement of the terminal, a visual approach slope indicator system was built and a new control tower was built, replacing the old control tower that was constructed in 1946. The control tower was completed in 1966. In 1964, a transmission station was built.
In 1970, work began on the current passenger terminal that is being used to operate flights today. The new terminal opened in March 1973. During this time, a second runway was being built, and this was completed in 1980.
On 18 February 1988, Binter Canarias announced that the airline's main base was to be established at Gran Canaria. The base opened on 26 March 1989.
In October 1991, the terminal was enlarged with improved facilities so it could handle more passengers.
In December 2010, low cost carrier Ryanair announced the opening of 3 new bases on the Canary Islands. In addition to Gran Canaria these include Lanzarote and Tenerife South. From 16 February 2011, Ryanair will operate 30 routes from Gran Canaria, 12 of which are new.
Currently Gran Canaria airport is under renovation. Among the improvements are increasing the number of baggage belts, 16 to 24, check-in counters from 96 to 132, and gates, up to 40. The new terminal area will be fully active in 2013 doubling the current area. There is also a plan for the building of a new runway for the airport.
The airport has one terminal which opened in March 1973. It was later extended in October 1991 to slightly increase passenger traffic.
The terminal is split into three zones. Zone A is for European Union Flights, Zone B is for International flights outside the European Union and Zone C is for flights to the other Canary Islands.
Airlines and destinations
|Passengers||Aircraft movements||Cargo (tonnes)|
|Source: Aena Statistics|
|1||London, United Kingdom||330,679||EasyJet, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways.|
|2||Oslo, Norway||305,740||Norwegian Air Shuttle, SAS, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, TUIfly Nordic.|
|3||Amsterdam, Netherlands||286,658||Arkefly, Corendon Airlines, Transavia.|
|4||Düsseldorf, Germany||243,438||Air Berlin, Condor, Germanwings, Ryanair, TUIfly.|
|5||Stockholm, Sweden||240,565||Norwegian Air Shuttle, Novair, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, TUIfly Nordic.|
|6||Frankfurt, Germany||217,946||Air Berlin, Condor, Ryanair, TUIfly.|
|7||Helsinki, Finland||216,794||Air Finland, Finnair, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, TUIfly Nordic.|
|8||Manchester,United Kingdom||173,490||Monarch, Jet2.com, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways.|
|9||Copenhagen, Denmark||166,915||Norwegian Air Shuttle, Thomas Cook Sacndinavia, TUIfly Nordic.|
|10||Hamburg, Germany||155,062||Air Berlin, Condor, TUIfly.|
|1||Madrid-Barajas, Community of Madrid||1,459,672||Air Europa, Iberia, Ryanair.|
|2||Tenerife, Canary Islands||698,650||Binter Canarias.|
|3||Fuerteventura, Canary Islands||603,999||Binter Canarias.|
|4||Lanzarote, Canary Islands||602,409||Binter Canarias.|
|5||Barcelona, Catalonia||416,051||Ryanair, Vueling Airlines.|
|6||Sevilla, Andalusia||188,138||Air Europa, Ryanair, Vueling Airlines.|
|7||La Palma, Canary Islands||117,128||Binter Canarias.|
|8||Malaga, Andalusia||101,901||Air Europa, Vueling Airlines.|
|9||Bilbao, Basque Country||87,682||Air Europa, Vueling Airlines.|
|10||Santiago de Compostela, Galicia||84,327||Air Europa, Ryanair.|
|1||El Aaiun, Morocco||33,332||Binter Canarias, CanaryFly.|
|2||Boa Vista, Cape Verde||24,670||TACV, TUIFLY|
|5||Sal, Cape Verde||22,523||TACV, TUIFLY|
|6||Nouadhibou, Mauritania||18,135||CanaryFly, Mauritania Internacional Airways.|
|7||Praia, Cape Verde||10,712||TACV|
|8||Marrakech, Morocco||9,934||Binter Canarias|
The airport is accessible by several island roadways leading from all points in the island, as well as special bus service available from most towns within Gran Canaria. Taxi service is considered the most efficient way since the island has its own taxi services, and low fares.
Furthermore, Gran Canaria's main motorway GC1 runs directly past the airport providing fast transport links to Las Palmas in the North and to the popular tourist resorts in the South. The motorway has been upgraded and widened many times, particularly towards the South since the 1980s to cope with the increased levels of traffic caused by tourism.
There is an airbase of the Spanish Air Force to the east of the runways. Beyond several hangars opposite to the passenger terminal, the Gando Air Base (Base Aérea de Gando) contains ten shelters situated on the southern end of the eastern runway. They harbor the Ala 46 with F/A-18 Hornets, Eurofighter Typhoon, CASA 212 and the Eurocopter AS 532 and Fokker F27 of SAR . Ala 46 or 46 Wing, composed of 462 and 802 fighter squadron, defends the Spanish airspace around the Canary Islands. It is one of the biggest and most important air bases of the Spanish Air Force and unique by the big diversity of aeroplane that it operates.
In the past, the base saw its top of military activity during the mid 1970s at the time of the crisis of decolonisation of Western Sahara and its occupation by Morocco. The recent military crisis in Western Africa, like the 2013 Mali intervention by France, has converted Gando Air Base in the main air platform for operations in Western Africa area by NATO. In 2006 Spain proposed Gando Air Base as headquarters for the newly created US Africa Command (AFRICOM), but instead in 2007 the Pentagon decided to establish the AFRICOM HQ in Stuttgard (Germany).
There is also the Canary Islands Air Command (Mando Aéreo de Canarias – MACAN), based in the city of Las Palmas. Canary Islands Air Command is the only organization territorialized Air Command Air Force General of Spain and its mission is the maintenance and preparation of air units located in the Canary archipelago, and the preparation of command. As such, any Spanish military airplane that lands in the Canary Islands is immediately put at the disposal of the Canary Islands Air Command, who can retain it and use it as long as necessary for missions within the islands. This situation happens sometimes with heavy military transport, antisubmarine warfare and early warning airplanes, which the islands lacks of them in permanent basis. Once the plane is released of duty by the Canary Islands Air Command, it can leave the Canary Islands and comes back again under direct orders of the Air Force Commands of mainland Spain.
The deployment base of Gando Air Base is the Lanzarote Military Airfield (Aeródromo Militar de Lanzarote), in the island of Lanzarote. Lanzarote Military Airfield has permanently its own Air Force troops platoons and the radar for the air defence (the EVA 22, which covers the Eastern Canary Islands and the maritime area up to the Sahara), but it has no permanently based military planes, using the ones from Gando.
MPAIAC bombing and Tenerife disaster
- See also Tenerife airport disaster
At 1:15 PM on 27 March 1977, a bomb planted by the Movement for the Independence and Autonomy of the Canaries Archipelago (MPAIAC) exploded in a florist's shop on the terminal concourse. Airport authorities had been warned of the blast 10 minutes before, so although the bomb damaged the inside of the terminal, the building was being evacuated at the time and there were no fatalities. However, eight people were injured, one seriously. Later, another telephone call was received claiming responsibility for the explosion and hinting that a second bomb was planted somewhere in the terminal building. The civil aviation authorities closed the airport pending a thorough search for the second bomb. The closure necessitated the diversion of several incoming flights, including a number of large aircraft on long international flights, to Los Rodeos airport on the nearby island of Tenerife (Los Rodeos is now known as Tenerife North Airport). The resulting runway congestion on the small regional airport was a factor in the subsequent disaster at Los Rodeos, when just after 5pm local time two Boeing 747s originally bound for Gran Canaria collided on the Los Rodeos runway, resulting in 583 deaths, the worst aviation accident in history.
- AENA passenger statistics and aircraft movements. Aena.es. Retrieved on 2011-08-02.
- Spanish AIP (AENA)[dead link]
- There is a programme to expand the airport building a new terminal and a new runway. Space Shuttle Emergency Landing Sites. Globalsecurity.org (2011-07-21). Retrieved on 2011-08-02.
- Gran canaria history on Aena[dead link]
- Ryanair to open base in Gran Canaria. Ryanair.com (2006-11-06). Retrieved on 2011-08-02.
- Airports of the World connected with: GRAN CANARIA. Aena.es. Retrieved on 2011-08-02.
- Zones. Gran-canaria-lpa.airports-guides.com (2011-07-27). Retrieved on 2011-08-02.
- Cork Summer 2014
- new BA route to LHR
- Yañez and Rodriguez 2008, p. 23.
- Orden DEF/1575/2007, de 28 de mayo, por la que se establecen las Comandancias Militares Aéreas de Aeropuerto y se fijan sus dependencias.
- *Página del Ministerio del Aire de España
- "Crash of the Century". Cineflix Productions.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gran Canaria Airport.|
- Official website (English) (Spanish)