Palma de Mallorca Airport (IATA: PMI, ICAO: LEPA) (Catalan: Aeroport de Palma de Mallorca, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Palma de Mallorca) is an airport located 8 km (5.0 mi) east of Palma, Majorca, adjacent to the village of Can Pastilla. More commonly known as Son Sant Joan Airport or Aeroport de Son Sant Joan, it is the third largest airport in Spain, after Madrid's Barajas Airport and Barcelona Airport. During the summer months it is one of the busiest airports in Europe, and was used by 22.7 million passengers in 2012. The airport is the main base for the Spanish carrier Air Europa and also a focus airport for German carrier Air Berlin.
Palma de Mallorca Airport occupies an area of 6.3 km2 (2.4 sq mi). Due to rapid growth of passenger numbers, additional infrastructure was added to the two terminals A (1965) and B (1972). This main terminal was designed by local architect Pere Nicolau Bonet and was officially opened on 12 April 1997. The airport now consists of four modules: Module A, Module B, Module C and Module D. The airport can handle 25 million passengers per year, with a capacity to dispatch 12,000 passengers per hour.
The history of Palma de Mallorca airport began in the 1920s, when seaplanes were used for postal services to the other Balearic Islands. A flat field next to Son Sant Joan was then used in the 1930s for flight routes to other parts of Spain. A private aerodome was also set up.
In 1938, Palma de Mallorca airport started being used for military aviation, while Iberia and Deutsche Lufthansa established new routes to the military base.
In 1954, Palma de Mallorca's runway was extended and asphalted, and also had brand new taxiways and aprons added near it. This made the airport able to serve more airlines and more types of aircraft.
The increase in traffic in 1958 led to a new terminal being constructed, and turned the airbase into a large civilian airport. A new large apron was also built. The new airport opened to domestic and international traffic on 7 July 1960. Just two weeks later, expansion to the aerodome was planned, including the extension of the runway and taxiway. At the end of the year, more plans were made, including a power plant, a communications centre and fire and rescue facilities.
After reaching 1 million passengers for the first time in 1962, in 1965, a new terminal was constructed, and air navigation services were completed at the end of the following year. Also in 1965, a smaller terminal, which today is terminal B was planned to be built, due to passenger numbers increasing rapidly, reaching 2 million in 1965. A second runway was also to be built. It was to be built parallel to the existing one, and work began on it in 1970. Two years later, terminal B went into service, and the second runway opened in 1974.
In 1980, the airport carried 7 million passengers. However, this increased to nearly 10 million in 1986. This yet again led to a new terminal to be constructed, which is today's current terminal, which is terminal A. Construction started in mid-1993 and was designed by the Majorcan architect Pere Nicolau Bover. during the construction in 1995, passenger numbers exceeded 15 million. The new terminal finally opened in 1997.
Today, Palma de Mallorca airport carries over 20 million passengers to their destinations, particularly to mainland Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Located in the north of the airport. It has 28 gates of which 8 have airbridges. This is the only Module that has double airbridges attached to gates. The Pier is mainly used by flights to non-Schengen destinations including the UK and Ireland. This part of the terminal building is closed during winter months and is only used in the Summer.
The smallest Module located in the north east. It has 8 gates located on ground floor, of which none have airbridges. It is used by regional aircraft of Air Nostrum, mainly operating intra-balearic flights.
The largest of the Modules located in the east. It has 33 gates of which 9 have airbridges. It is used by Air Berlin, Niki and Condor along with EasyJet flights to Schengen destinations. The majority of airbridges have airberlin.com written on them.
The southern area of the Module was worked on and reopened in May 2011. The refurbishment and expansion is so that the Module can handle more flights, and to improve ways to get into the pier as it is the longest walk from security control. There will also be a further 8 gates with airbridges, but there will still be 33 in total.
Located in the south. It has 19 gates of which 10 have airbridges. All odd numbered gates are gates with a bus transfer. The majority of airbridges have airberlin.com written on them. During the closure of the southern area of Module C, it was used mainly for flights to Europe.
Previously Spanair had its head office in the Spanair Building on the airport property. Both Futura International Airways and Iberworld used to have large operational offices on the premises of Palma airport but these are no longer in use.
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Following a decline in passenger numbers at the airport following the September 11 attacks in 2001, numbers rose steadily between 2002 and 2007 when traffic peaked at 23.2 million passengers, however from 2007 there has been a decline in passenger numbers with 21.1 million using the airport in 2010.
Palma de Mallorca Airport Passenger Totals 1999–2011 (millions)