Tenerife North Airport
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|Tenerife North Airport
Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte
|IATA: TFN – ICAO: GCXO
|Owner||Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea|
|Location||San Cristóbal de La Laguna|
|Elevation AMSL||633 m / 2,077 ft|
|Passenger change 11-12||9.2%|
|Movements change 11-12||10.9%|
|Source: Statistics from AENA
Spanish AIP at EUROCONTROL
Tenerife North Airport (IATA: TFN, ICAO: GCXO), formerly Los Rodeos Airport, is one of the two international airports on the island of Tenerife, Spain. It is located in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, 11 km (6.8 mi) by road from Santa Cruz and at an altitude of 633 metres (2,077 ft). In 1977, the airport was the site of the worst accident in aviation history when 583 passengers and crew were killed after two Boeing 747s collided on the runway in heavy fog. Both planes exploded and started fires, and were completely destroyed.
Tenerife North handled 3,717,944 passengers in 2012. Combined with Tenerife South Airport, the island gathers the highest passenger movement in the Canary Islands with 12,248,673 passengers. The busiest air route from the airport in terms of passengers is the one to Madrid Airport, at over one million passengers a year.
Today TFN is an inter-island hub connecting all seven Canary Islands with connections to the Iberian Peninsula, Europe, and North America. The route between Tenerife North and Madrid-Barajas is the airport's busiest with an average of 40 flights per day.
A new terminal was inaugurated in 2002, comprising car park, motorway access ramps, and four-story terminal building, with 12 gates. The airport regained its international status when flights to Caracas began. An inter-island domestic area was opened in 2005.
Many years before the airport had even been built, the field at Los Rodeos was hastily prepared to accommodate the first (though unofficial) flight into Tenerife operated by an Arado VI (D-1594) aircraft operating from Berlin on behalf of Deutsche Luft Hansa.
In May 1930, the Compañía de Líneas Aéreas Subvencionadas S.A. (C.L.A.S.S.A.) established the first air link between the Spanish mainland and the Canary Islands using a Ford 4-AT Trimotor (M-CKKA), which took off from Getafe, Madrid to the Los Rodeos field via Casablanca, Cape Juby and Gando in Gran Canaria.
After the final location of the airport had been decided, funds were gathered between 1935 and 1939 to build a small hangar and begin expanding the airstrip which would become Los Rodeos .
In July 1936 Francisco Franco did not fly from here after taking over the island to invade the mainland Spain. He flew from Gando (Gran Canaria), in a DH-89 Dragon Rapide chartered to the British company Olley Air Service.
By 1946, more hangars, a passenger terminal and an 800 m (2,625 ft) paved runway had been built, and the airport was officially opened to all national and international traffic. The runway was stretched at various times during the 1940s and 1950s, reaching a length of 2,400 m (7,874 ft) in 1953, by which time the airport was also equipped with runway edge lighting and an air-ground radio, enabling night operations.
By 1964, runway 12/30 had been stretched to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) to accommodate the DC-8, new navigation aids were installed, and the apron was expanded to provide more parking spaces for aircraft. In 1971, with the prospect of the Boeing 747 flying into the airport, the runway was reinforced and an ILS (Instrument Landing System) was installed.
In the 1977 Tenerife disaster, a PanAm and a KLM Boeing 747 collided on the runway, killing 583 people, the highest number of fatalities (excluding ground fatalities) of any single accident in aviation history. In response, a new airport, Tenerife South Airport, was inaugurated on November 6, 1978. It is situated at sea level which averts the occurrence of fog, one of the reasons for the crash.
Airlines and destinations
|Air Europa||Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Málaga, Seville
|Binter Canarias & NAYSA||El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote, Marrakech, Dakar|
|CanaryFly||Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma|
operated by Air Nostrum
|Seasonal: Alicante, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia|
|Royal Air Maroc
operated by Royal Air Maroc Express
|Vueling||A Coruña, Barcelona, Bilbao, Málaga, Seville|
|Updated: 27 January 2012.|
|Passengers||Aircraft movements||Cargo (tonnes)|
|Source: Aena Statistics|
Accidents and incidents
Tenerife North Airport was the scene of the Tenerife airport disaster, to date the worst accident in aviation history. The accident took place on 27 March 1977, while during take-off, the KLM Flight 4805 Boeing 747 crashed into the Boeing 747 of Pan Am Flight 1736 taxiing along the runway. Amongst the passengers and crew of the two aircraft, all 248 passengers on board the KLM flight were killed along with 335 on board the Pan Am but in the Pan Am flight 61 passengers survived, making the total death toll at 583 people. Neither flight was originally scheduled to be at the airport; both were scheduled to land at Gran Canaria Airport, but had been diverted to Tenerife North (then Tenerife Los Rodeos) as a result of a bombing at Gran Canaria. To this day, parts from the two aircraft involved can still be found scattered in the grass around the runway.
Other accidents at the airport include:
|Date||Airline||Aircraft type||Registration||Flight number||People on board||Fatalities|
|1970-01-05||Iberia||Fokker F-27 Friendship 600||EC-BOD||49||0|
- AENA statistics for 2012
- EAD Basic
Media related to Tenerife North Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (English) (Spanish)
- Airlines Pilot Association (ALPA) Article on 1977 KLM-PanAm disaster