Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport

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Adolfo Suárez
Madrid–Barajas Airport[1]

Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez
Madrid-Barajas - Aerial photograph.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator ENAIRE
Serves Madrid, Spain
Location District of Barajas, Madrid
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 610 m / 2,000 ft
Coordinates 40°28′20″N 003°33′39″W / 40.47222°N 3.56083°W / 40.47222; -3.56083Coordinates: 40°28′20″N 003°33′39″W / 40.47222°N 3.56083°W / 40.47222; -3.56083
MAD is located in Madrid
Location within Madrid
Direction Length Surface
m ft
14R/32L 4,100 13,451 Asphalt
18L/36R 3,500 11,482 Asphalt
14L/32R 3,500 11,482 Asphalt
18R/36L 4,350 14,268 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2016)
Passengers 50,420,583 (Increase7.7%)
Aircraft Movements 378,150 (Increase3.1%)
Cargo 415,773 (Increase9.0%)
Economic impact $10.9 billion[2]
Social impact 130,900[2]
Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA[3]
Spanish AIP, AENA[4]
Terminal 4 at night
Interior of Terminal 4
Entrance of Terminal 4 at Madrid Barajas Airport

Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas [(a)eɾoˈpwerto aˈðolfo ˈswaɾeθ maˈðɾi(ð) βaˈɾaxas]) (IATA: MADICAO: LEMD),[5] commonly known as Madrid–Barajas Airport, is the main international airport serving Madrid in Spain. It is named after Adolfo Suárez (1932–2014), leader of the Spanish Transition to democracy after Franco's dictatorship and the First President of the government of Spain from 1976 to 1981. At 3,050 ha (7,500 acres) in area, it is the largest airport in Europe by physical size along with Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport.[6][7] In 2015, almost 47 million passengers used Madrid–Barajas,[3] and this grew to 50.4 million in 2016 making it the country's largest and busiest airport, and Europe's sixth busiest.

The airport opened in 1928, and has grown to be one of the most important aviation centres of Europe. Located within the city limits of Madrid, it is just 9 km (6 mi) from the city's financial district and 13 km (8 mi) northeast of the Puerta del Sol, Madrid's historic centre. The airport name derives from the adjacent district of Barajas, which has its own metro station on the same rail line serving the airport. Barajas serves as the gateway to the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe and the world, and is a particularly key link between Europe and Latin America. The airport is the primary hub and maintenance base for Iberia. Consequently, Iberia is responsible for more than 60 percent of Barajas' traffic. The airport has five passenger terminals named T1, T2, T3, T4 and T4S.


Early years[edit]

The airport was constructed in 1927, opening to national and international air traffic on 22 April 1931, although regular commercial operations began two years later. A small terminal was constructed with a capacity for 30,000 passengers a year, in addition to several hangars and the building of the Avión Club. The first regular flight was established by Lineas Aéreas Postales Españolas (LAPE) with its line to Barcelona. Later, in the 1930s international flights started to serve some European and African destinations.

Originally, the flight field was a large circle bordered in white with the name of Madrid in its interior, unpaved, consisting of land covered with natural grass. It was not until the 1940s that the flight field was paved and new runways were designed. The first runway which started operation in 1944 was 1,400 metres long and 45 metres wide. By the end of the decade the airport had three runways, none of which exist today. In the late 1940s, scheduled flights to Latin America and the Philippines started.

In the 1950s, the airport supported over half a million passengers, increasing to five runways and scheduled flights to New York City began. The National Terminal, currently T2, began construction in 1954 and was inaugurated later that year. In the Plan of Airports of 1957, Barajas Airport is classified as a first-class international airport. By the 1970s, large jets were landing at Barajas, and the growth of traffic mainly as a result of tourism exceeded forecasts. At the beginning of the decade, the airport reached the 1.2 million passengers, double that envisaged in the Plan of Airports of 1957.

In the 1970s, with the boom in tourism and the arrival of the Boeing 747, the airport reached 4 million passengers and began the construction of the international terminal (current T1). In 1974, Iberia, L.A.E. introduced the shuttle service between Madrid and Barcelona, a service with multiple daily frequencies and available without prior reservation.

The 1982 FIFA World Cup brought significant expansion and modernisation of the airport's two existing terminals.

In the 1990s, the airport expanded further. In 1994, the first cargo terminal was constructed and the control tower was renovated. In 1997, it opened the North Dock, which is used as an exclusive terminal for Iberia's Schengen flights. In 1998, it inaugurated a new control tower, 71 m tall and then in 1999 the new South Dock opened, which implies an expansion of the international terminal. During this time, the distribution of the terminals changed: The south dock and most of the International Terminal were now called T1, the rest of the International Terminal and Domestic Terminal were now called T2 and the north dock was called T3.

In November 1998, the new runway 18R-36L started operations (replacing the previous 18–36), 4,400 m long, one of the largest in Europe under expansion plans called Major Barajas. In 2000, it began the construction of new terminals T4 and its satellite, T4S, designed by architects Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers, and directed by architect Luis Vidal. Two parallel runways to the existing ones were also built.

Development since the 2000s[edit]

The new terminals and runways were completed in 2004, but administrative delays and equipment, as well as the controversy over the redeployment of terminals, delayed service until 5 February 2006.

Terminal 4, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers; and directed by Luis Vidal, (winning team of the 2006 Stirling Prize) and TPS Engineers, (winning team of the 2006 IStructE Award for Commercial Structures)[8] was built by Ferrovial[9] and inaugurated on 5 February 2006. Terminal 4 is one of the world's largest airport terminals in terms of area, with 760,000 square meters (8,180,572 square feet) in separate landside and airside structures. It consists of a main building, T4 (470,000 m²) and a satellite building, T4S (290,000 m²), which are approximately 2.5 km apart. The new Terminal 4 is meant to give passengers a stress-free start to their journey. This is managed through careful use of illumination, with glass panes instead of walls and numerous domes in the roof which allow natural light to pass through. With this new addition, Barajas is designed to handle 70 million passengers annually.

During the construction of Terminal 4, two more runways (15L/33R and 18L/36R) were constructed to aid in the flow of air traffic arriving and departing from Barajas. These runways were officially inaugurated on 5 February 2006 (together with the terminals), but had already been used on several occasions beforehand to test flight and air traffic manoeuvres. Thus, Barajas came to have four runways: two on a north–south axis and parallel to each other (separated by 1.8 km) and two on a northwest–southeast axis (and separated by 2.5 km). This allowed simultaneous takeoffs and landings into the airport, allowing 120 operations an hour (one takeoff or landing every 30 seconds).

Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are adjacent terminals that are home to SkyTeam and Star Alliance airlines. Terminal 4 is home to Iberia, its franchise Air Nostrum and all Oneworld partner airlines. Gate numbers are continuous in terminals 1, 2 and 3 (A1 to E89), but are separately numbered in terminal 4 (H,J,K and M,R,S,U in satellite building).

The Madrid–Barcelona air shuttle service, known as the "Puente Aéreo" (in Spanish), literally called "Air Bridge", is the busiest route between two European airports[10] with 55 daily flights in 2012.[11] The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when the Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line was opened, covering the distance in 2 12 hours, and quickly became popular.

In 2007, the airport processed more than 52 million passengers. Barajas was voted "Best Airport" in the 2008 Condé Nast Traveller Reader Awards.[12]

In December 2010, the Spanish government announced plans to tender Madrid–Barajas airport to companies in the private sector for a period of up to 40 years.[13]

On 27 January 2012, Spanair suspended all flights affecting Madrid–Barajas as well as other domestic and international connections.[14] On 20 September 2012, both runways 15/33 were renamed as 14R/32L (the longest) and 14L/32R (the shortest).

On 1 August 2015, the first scheduled Airbus A380 flight landed in Madrid-Barajas in a daily service to Dubai by Emirates.

Following the death of former Spanish Prime Minister, Adolfo Suárez, in 2014, the Spanish Ministerio de Fomento announced[15] that the airport would be renamed Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez, Madrid–Barajas. This renaming seeks recognition for Suárez's role as the first Prime Minister of Spain after the restoration of democracy and his key participation in the transition to democracy after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Madrid-Barajas T4 interior
Iberia Airbus A330 landing at the airport
Terminal 4 Madrid-Barajas
interior of Terminal 4
Barajas terminal 4 panorama
Iberia Boeing 747-100 at the airport in 1970
Iberia aircraft at Terminal 4
T4S (satellite)
Iberia Boeing 747-256B in the airport at the early 2000s
Tower 2 Madrid-Barajas Airport for T4 ground movements
Control tower 1 of Madrid-Barajas Airport
Iberia Airbus A340-600 parked at Terminal 4
Boeing 787 Air Europa landing at the airport
Iberia Airbus A340-642 at the airport


Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aegean Airlines Athens 2
Aer Lingus Dublin 1
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo 1
Aerolíneas Argentinas Buenos Aires–Ezeiza 1
Aeroméxico Mexico City 1
airBaltic Seasonal: Riga (begins 26 May 2017) 4
Air Algérie Algiers 4
Air Arabia Maroc Tangier 1
Air Canada Toronto–Pearson 1
Air China Beijing–Capital, São Paulo–Guarulhos 1
Air Europa A Coruña, Alicante, Almeria, Amsterdam, Asunción, Barcelona, Bilbao, Bogotá, Brussels, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Cancún, Caracas, Cordoba, Frankfurt, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Guayaquil, Havana, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Lima, London–Gatwick, Malaga, Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Montevideo, Munich, New York–JFK, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Orly, Punta Cana, Rome–Fiumicino, Salvador da Bahia, San Juan, San Pedro Sula (begins 26 April 2017),[16] Santa Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru, Santo Domingo-Las Americas, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Sevilla, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion,[17] Tenerife–North, Vigo, Zürich
Seasonal: Boston (begins 14 June 2017),[18]
1, 2, 3
Air Europa
operated by Privilege Style
Lisbon, Porto 2
Air Europa
operated by Swiftair
Bilbao, Málaga, Valencia, Vigo 2
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle 2, 3
Air India Delhi 1
Air Transat Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau 1
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino 2
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–JFK, Philadelphia
Seasonal: Charlotte
Avianca Bogotá, Cali, Medellín–JMC 4
Azores Airlines Seasonal charter: Terceira 1
Beijing Capital Airlines Chengdu,[19] Hangzhou 1
Blue Air Bacău, Bucharest, Turin 1
Boliviana de Aviación Santa Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru
Seasonal: Cochabamba
British Airways London–Heathrow 4
Brussels Airlines Brussels 2
Bulgaria Air Sofia 4
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong 4
Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines
operated by White Airways
Malabo 4
China Eastern Airlines Shanghai–Pudong 1
Cobalt Air Larnaca (begins 4 April 2017)[20] 1
Conviasa Caracas 1
Cubana de Aviación Havana, Santiago De Cuba 1
Czech Airlines Prague 4
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York–JFK 1
easyJet Bristol, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Lyon, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle 1
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva 1
EgyptAir Cairo 1
El Al Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion 4
Emirates Dubai–International 4
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa 1
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi 1
Eurowings Vienna 2
Evelop Airlines Cancún, Havana, Punta Cana 4
Finnair Helsinki 4
Iberia A Coruña, Algiers, Athens, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Bilbao, Bogotá, Boston, Brussels, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Caracas, Casablanca, Chicago–O'Hare, Dakar, Düsseldorf, Florence, Frankfurt, Geneva, Granada, Guatemala City, Hamburg, Havana, Jerez de la Frontera, Johannesburg–OR Tambo, Lima, Lisbon, Los Angeles, London–Heathrow, Malabo, Marrakech, Medellín–JMC, Mexico City, Miami, Milan–Linate, Milan–Malpensa, Montevideo, Moscow–Domodedovo, Munich, New York–JFK, Oran, Oviedo, Panama City–Tocumen, Paris–Orly, Prague, Quito, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Rome–Fiumicino, San José (CR), San Juan, San Salvador, Santander, Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Compostela (resumes 22 May 2017),[21] Santo Domingo–Las Americas, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Shanghai–Pudong, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tokyo–Narita, Venice, Vienna, Zürich 4
Iberia Express Amsterdam, Berlin–Tegel, Bordeaux, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Dublin, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Lanzarote, London–Gatwick, Lyon, Málaga, Manchester, Nantes, Naples, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rennes, Santiago de Compostela, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South, Seville, Stuttgart, Vigo
Seasonal: Bucharest, Cagliari (begins 16 June 2017),[22] Cardiff (begins 6 April 2017),[23] Cork, Edinburgh, Heraklion (begins 11 July 2017), Ibiza, Kraków, Malta, Menorca, Oslo–Gardermoen, Reykjavik–Keflavik, Santorini
Iberia Regional
operated by Air Nostrum
Alicante, Almería, Badajoz, Biarritz, Bologna, Bordeaux, Frankfurt, Granada, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Lisbon, Logroño, Lyon, Marrakech, Marseille, Melilla, Menorca, Murcia, Nantes, Nice, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Porto, San Sebastián, Santander, Strasbourg, Tangier, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Vigo
Seasonal: Faro, Funchal, Malta, Olbia, Perpignan, Split
Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík 2
Israir Airlines Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion 4
KLM Amsterdam 2, 3
Korean Air Seoul–Incheon 1
LATAM Brasil São Paulo–Guarulhos 4
LATAM Chile Frankfurt, Santiago de Chile 4
LATAM Ecuador Guayaquil 4
LATAM Perú Lima 4
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw–Chopin 2
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich 2
Luxair Luxembourg 4
Meridiana Naples
Seasonal: Olbia
Monarch Airlines Seasonal: Birmingham 1
Norwegian Air Shuttle
operated by Norwegian Air International
Copenhagen, Gran Canaria, Gothenburg, Helsinki, London–Gatwick, Oslo, Palma de Mallorca, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tenerife–North, Warsaw–Chopin
Seasonal: Catania, Dubrovnik, Hamburg, Malta, Marrakesh, Reykjavik–Keflavik
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen 1
Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas Lima, Santiago de Chile (begins 15 June 2017),[24] Santo Domingo–Las Americas 1
Qatar Airways Doha 4
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat 4
Royal Air Maroc Express Casablanca, Tangier 4
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia 4
Ryanair Bari (begins 31 October 2017),[25] Beauvais, Bergamo, Berlin–Schönefeld, Birmingham, Bologna, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Cagliari, Catania, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Dublin, Eindhoven, Fes, Frankfurt (begins 29 October 2017),[26] Fuerteventura, Glasgow (begins 29 October 2017),[25] Gran Canaria, Hamburg, Ibiza, Kraków, Lanzarote, Lamezia Terme, London–Stansted, Luxembourg, Malta, Manchester, Marrakech, Marseille, Naples (begins 5 April 2017),[27] Newcastle upon Tyne, Nuremberg, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Porto, Poznań (begins 29 October 2017), Prague (begins 29 October 2017),[25] Rabat, Rome–Ciampino, Santiago de Compostela, Sofia, Tangier, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South, Toulouse, Verona, Vilnius, Warsaw–Modlin, Wroclaw
Seasonal: Menorca
S7 Airlines Seasonal: Moscow–Domodedovo 4
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh 1
Swiss International Air Lines Geneva, Zürich 2
TAP Portugal Lisbon, Porto 2
TAP Portugal
operated by TAP Express
Lisbon 2
TAROM Bucharest 1
Transavia Rotterdam 1
Transavia France Nantes, Paris–Orly 1
Tunisair Tunis (suspended)[28] 1
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk 1
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil
Seasonal: Lviv
United Airlines Newark
Seasonal: Washington–Dulles
Volotea Bordeaux (begins 14 April 2017), Nantes (begins 7 April 2017) 1
Vueling Barcelona, Florence, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome–Fiumicino
Seasonal: Ibiza, Menorca
Wamos Air Cancún, Punta Cana, Guatemala City (begins 20 June 2017)[29]
Charter: Aruba, Athens, Bogotá, Bologna, Helsinki, Malmö, Santa Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru, Santo Domingo, Tallinn, Trondheim
Seasonal charter: Miami
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Sibiu, Sofia, Târgu Mureș, Timișoara 1


Airlines Destinations
ASL Airlines Belgium Brussels, Liège
Atlantic Airlines Liège
Cygnus Air Frankfurt, Gran Canaria, Tenerife–North
DHL Aviation Beijing–Capital, Casablanca, Copenhagen, East Midlands, Frankfurt, Leipzig/Halle, London–Heathrow, Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Emirates Sky Cargo Dubai–Al Maktoum
DHL Aviation
operated by European Air Transport Leipzig
FedEx Feeder
operated by ASL Airlines Ireland
Dublin, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
MASkargo Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur–International
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
Swiftair Algiers, Athens, Barcelona, Casablanca, Gran Canaria, Lisbon, Milan–Malpensa, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tenerife–North[30]
Turkish Airlines Cargo Algiers, Belgrade, Casablanca, Istanbul–Atatürk
UPS Airlines Casablanca, Chicago–O'Hare, Cologne/Bonn, London–Stansted

Traffic and statistics[edit]

Avianca, Royal Air Maroc, Iberia and American tails in Terminal 4S (Satellite)
Terminal 1 interior
Terminal 2
Interior of Terminal 3
Interior of Terminal 4
Terminal T-4 Madrid - Barajas Airport
The main control tower

Passenger numbers[edit]

Passengers Aircraft Movements Cargo (tonnes)
2001 34,050,215 375,558 295,944
2002 33,915,302 368,029 295,711
2003 35,855,861 383,804 307,026
2004 38,718,614 401,503 341,177
2005 42,146,784 415,704 333,138
2006 45,799,983 434,959 325,702
2007 52,110,787 483,292 325,201
2008 50,846,494 469,746 329,187
2009 48,437,147 435,187 302,863
2010 49,863,504 433,683 373,380
2011 49,671,270 429,390 394,154
2012 45,195,014 373,185 359,362
2013 39,735,618 333,056 346,602
2014 41,833,374 342,601 366,645
2015 46,828,279 366,605 381,069
2016 50,420,583 378,150 415,774
2017(FEB YTD) 7,427,489 57,200 67,234
Source: Aena Statistics[3]

Route statistics[edit]

Busiest domestic routes at Adolfo Suárez, Madrid–Barajas International Airport (2016)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Spain Barcelona 2,327,492 Air Europa, Iberia, Vueling
2 Spain Palma de Mallorca 1,688,094 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Norwegian Air International, Ryanair
3 Spain Gran Canaria 1,508,475 Air Europa, Iberia Express, Norwegian Air International, Ryanair
4 Spain Tenerife (North) 1,303,696 Air Europa, Iberia Express, Norwegian Air International, Ryanair
5 Spain Bilbao 720,840 Air Europa, Iberia, Swiftair
6 Spain Ibiza 694,368 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Ryanair, Vueling
7 Spain A Coruña 585,464 Air Europa, Iberia
8 Spain Santiago de Compostela 585,222 Iberia Express, Ryanair
9 Spain Vigo 543,626 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Swiftair
10 Spain Oviedo 452,718 Iberia
Busiest European routes at Madrid–Barajas International Airport (2016)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 United Kingdom London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 1,317,709 British Airways, Iberia
2 Portugal Lisbon, Portugal 1,295,178 Air Nostrum, easyJet, Iberia, Privilege Style, TAP Express, TAP Portugal
3 France Paris (Orly), France 1,204,167 Air Europa, Iberia, Transavia France
4 Italy Rome (Fiumicino), Italy 1,107,277 Air Europa, Alitalia, Iberia, Vueling
5 Germany Frankfurt, Germany 1,052,801 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia, LATAM Chile, Lufthansa
6 France Paris (CDG), France 1,045,872 Air France, easyJet, Iberia Express, Vueling
7 United Kingdom London (Gatwick), United Kingdom 1,001,122 Air Europa, easyJet, Iberia Express, Norwegian Air International
8 Netherlands Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1,000,680 Air Europa, Iberia Express, KLM
9 Germany Munich, Germany 814,550 Air Europa, Iberia, Lufthansa
10 Belgium Brussels, Belgium 762,938 Air Europa, Brussels Airlines, Iberia, Ryanair
Busiest intercontinental routes at Madrid–Barajas International Airport (2016)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Argentina Buenos Aires (Ezeiza), Argentina 778,347 Aerolíneas Argentinas, Air Europa, Iberia
2 United States New York (JFK), United States 748,044 Air Europa, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia
3 Brazil São Paulo (Guarulhos), Brazil 675,533 Air China, Air Europa, Iberia, LATAM
4 Colombia Bogotá, Colombia 650,225 Air Europa, Avianca, Iberia, Wamos Air
5 Peru Lima, Peru 632,058 Air Europa, Iberia, LATAM, Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas
6 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico 621,012 Aeroméxico, Iberia
7 United States Miami, United States 618,977 Air Europa, American Airlines, Iberia, Wamos Air
8 Cuba Havana, Cuba 545,746 Air Europa, Cubana de Aviación, Evelop Airlines, Iberia
9 United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates 487,358 Emirates
10 Chile Santiago, Chile 457,105 Iberia, LATAM

Airline market share[edit]

Largest Airlines at Madrid–Barajas International Airport (2016)
Rank Airline Passengers
1 Spain Iberia 13,591,076
2 Spain Air Europa 7,569,327
3 Republic of Ireland Ryanair 6,130,681
4 Spain Iberia Express 4,415,546
5 Spain Air Nostrum 2,996,978
6 United Kingdom easyJet 1,487,250
7 Spain Vueling 1,272,175
8 Republic of Ireland Norwegian Air International 1,080,137
9 Germany Lufthansa 789,274
10 United States American Airlines 617,826
11 France Air France 599,951
12 Netherlands KLM 550,940
13 Colombia Avianca 510,968
14 United Kingdom British Airways 493,658
15 United Arab Emirates Emirates 487,275

Ground transport[edit]


The Madrid Metro Line connects the airport with city centre station Nuevos Ministerios in Madrid's financial district. The Barajas Line 8 provides a fast route from the underground stations at Terminal 2 (access to T1 and T3) and Terminal 4 into central Madrid. The metro also provides links to stations on the Spanish railway network.

In October 2006, a bid was launched for the construction of a Cercanías link between Chamartín Station and Terminal 4. Now finished, this single Cercanías Line (C-1) links Madrid Barajas Terminal 4, with Chamartín Station and Atocha AVE high-speed train stations.[31] In June 2011 a decision was made to equip this link with dual gauge which will allow AVE high-speed trains to reach the airport station.[32]

The Nuevos Ministerios metro station allowed checking-in[33] right by the AZCA business area in central Madrid, but this convenience has been suspended indefinitely after the building of Terminal 4.[34]

EMT Bus[edit]

EMT (Madrid Municipal Transport Company) runs regular public bus services between the airport and Madrid (Avenida de América station): bus 200 runs as a complete line – dropping passengers off at departures of terminals 1, 2 and 4 before collecting passengers in the reverse order at arrivals. The EMT public night bus service N4 (nicknamed "Buho", Owl) also services from Madrid downtown (Plaza Cibeles) to Barajas (Plaza de los Hermanos Falcó y Alvarez de Toledo, 400m from the airport through a passageway above the highway). EMT also have an express bus linking Barajas airport to Renfe's Atocha Station, the main rail station in Madrid, during day and Plaza Cibeles during night. Unlike the two services mentioned above, this line runs 24 hours of the day during all the days of the year.[35]

Airport People Mover[edit]

Shuttle train that links Terminal 4 with its satellite

In late 2005, the first driverless transit system in Spain and the longest airport people mover system in Europe began transporting passengers between the new terminal (T4) and a new satellite terminal (T4S). Deploying the CITYFLO 550 automatic train control technology, the system is the only mode of transportation for passengers between the two terminals, which are spaced more than two kilometres apart. Bombardier became the only contractor for the completely underground shuttle system, including the construction of the civil works, operation and maintenance of the system.

Airport parking[edit]

Long- and short-term car parking is provided at the airport with seven public parking areas. P1 is an outdoor car park located in front of the terminal building; P2 is an indoor car park with direct access to terminals T2 and T3. A Parking 'Express' facility, available for short periods only, is located at Terminal 2 and dedicated long-term parking is also available with 1,655 spaces; a free shuttle operates between the long-stay car park and all terminals. There are also VIP car parks.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 30 September 1972, Douglas C-47B EC-AQE of Spantax crashed on take-off. The aircraft was being used for training duties and the student pilot over-rotated and stalled. One of the six people on board was killed.[36]
  • On 29 July 1979, as part of a triple attack, a bomb placed by ETA political-military killed three people.[37]
  • On 27 November 1983, Avianca Flight 011 crashed while attempting to land. Flight 011 struck a series of hills, causing the plane's right wing to break off. The 747 then cartwheeled, shattering into five pieces before coming to rest upside-down. Only 11 of the 169 passengers survived – there were no survivors among the 23 crew.[38]
  • On 7 December 1983, an Iberia 727 operating as Iberia Flight 350[39] collided during takeoff with Aviaco Flight 134, a DC-9[40] The Aviaco DC9 had accidentally entered the runway as the Iberia flight was taking off.[41] One hundred thirty-five people were killed, including 93 from the Iberia and 42 from the Aviaco.
  • On 15 July 2006, the winglet of a Thai Airways International Boeing 747-400 HS-TGY operating flight TG943 from Madrid Barajas Airport in Spain to Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport cut off the tail of an Air France ERJ-145 while taxiing to the runway for take-off. No injuries were reported.[42]
  • On the morning of 30 December 2006, an explosion took place in the carpark building module D attached to Terminal 4. A bomb threat was phoned in at approximately 8:15 local time (7:15 GMT), with the caller stating that a car bomb carried with 800 kg of explosive would explode at 9:00 local time (8:00 GMT).[43] After receipt of the warning, police were able to evacuate part of the airport.[44] Later, an anonymous caller stated that ETA claims responsibility for the bombing.[45] As a result of the explosion, two Ecuadorians who were sleeping in their cars died. The whole module D of the car park was levelled to the ground, around 40,000 tonnes of debris. It took six days to recover the body of the second victim from the rubble.
  • On 20 August 2008, Spanair Flight 5022 which was travelling to Gran Canaria, veered off to the right and into the ground while climbing immediately after lifting off from runway 36L at 14:45 local time. The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) MD-82 with registration "EC-HFP", was carrying 172 people, including 162 passengers.[46] In the accident, 154 people were killed, two were seriously injured and 12 were slightly injured. Prime Minister Zapatero ordered three days of national mourning.[47]
  • On 3 December 2010, during the Spanish air traffic controllers strike, Madrid–Barajas 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.[48] On the morning of 4 December, the government declared a "State of Alert", ordering on the controllers back to work. Shortly after the measure was implemented, controllers started returning to work and the strike was called off.[49]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ "El aeropuerto de Madrid se llama desde hoy Adolfo Suárez". 
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External links[edit]

Media related to Madrid-Barajas Airport at Wikimedia Commons
Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport travel guide from Wikivoyage