Castellón–Costa Azahar Airport

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This article is about the new international airport. For the older general aviation airport, see Castellón Airport.
Castellón Airport
Aeropuerto de Castellón
Aeroport de Castelló
Aeropuerto Castellón-Costa Azahar.JPG
Summary
Airport type Private
Owner/Operator SNC-Lavalin
Serves Castellón de la Plana
Location Vilanova d'Alcolea, Benlloch
Elevation AMSL 360 m / 1,181 ft
Coordinates 40°12′35″N 0°04′11″E / 40.20972°N 0.06972°E / 40.20972; 0.06972Coordinates: 40°12′35″N 0°04′11″E / 40.20972°N 0.06972°E / 40.20972; 0.06972
Website www.aeropuerto-castellon.com
Map
LECH is located in Spain
LECH
LECH
Location in Spain
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 2,700 8,858 Asphalt

Castellón Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Castellón, Valencian: Aeroport de Castelló), (IATA: CDTICAO: LECH)[1] is an airport in Vilanova d'Alcolea and Benlloch in Spain.

History[edit]

The airport was officially declared "open" by local authorities in March 2011, shortly before regional elections and as total cost reached €150 million,[2] 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,[3] but the first commercial flight to the airport landed on 15 September 2015.[4]

In February 2012, it was reported that modifications would have to be made to the runway before the airport could be brought into use.[5] It was then later reported that the runway was to be dug up entirely.[6]

The airport has become a symbol of the wasteful spending that has helped sink Spain deep into a recession and a banking crisis.[7] For instance, the company in charge of running the airport, Aerocas, was found to have spent 26 million euros, a sixth of the cost of the airport, on sponsoring various sports teams in its region.[8] Also, 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 just outside the airport. Fabra has been under judicial investigation in connection with several cases of corruption and tax evasion,[7] and was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud in December 2014.[9]

On 14 January 2014, nearly four years after the formal opening of the airport, a first flight departed from Castellón-Costa Azahar. Air Nostrum charter flight YW2003 carried the Villarreal CF football team, which is sponsored by the airport itself, to San Sebastián for their Copa del Rey match against Real Sociedad.

The first regular scheduled, albeit seasonal, flights from Castellón-Costa Azahar to Bristol and London Stansted, operated by Ryanair, began in September 2015.[10] The European Union has opened a formal investigation into whether both the Canadian company that manages the airport (SNC-Lavalin) and Ryanair are receiving illegal subsidies from the regional government.[11]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Blue Air Bucharest
Ryanair London-Stansted, Sofia
Seasonal: Bristol

References[edit]

External links[edit]