Gran Canaria Airport

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Gran Canaria Airport
Aeropuerto de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria International Airport R01.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea
Operator Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea1
Serves Gran Canaria
Location Telde and Ingenio, Spain
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 24 m / 78 ft
Coordinates 27°55′55″N 015°23′12″W / 27.93194°N 15.38667°W / 27.93194; -15.38667Coordinates: 27°55′55″N 015°23′12″W / 27.93194°N 15.38667°W / 27.93194; -15.38667
LPA is located in Canary Islands
Location within the Canary Islands
Direction Length Surface
m ft
03L/21R 3,100 10,171 Asphalt concrete
03R/21L 3,100 10,171 Asphalt concrete
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 10,627,182
Passenger change 14-15 Increase3,0%
Aircraft Movements 100.417
Movements change 14-15 Decrease-1,8%
Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA[1]
Spanish AIP, AENA[2]

Gran Canaria Airport (IATA: LPAICAO: GCLP), (sometimes also known as Gando Airport or Las Palmas 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.

The airport is located in the eastern part of Gran Canaria on the Bay of Gando (Bahía de Gando), 19 km (12 mi) south[3] 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 2014 it handled over 10.3 million passengers, ranking as the 5th Spanish airport by passenger transit and the 1st airport by visitors in the Canary Islands.[4] 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 the Azores. It is the operative base for Binter Canarias, NAYSA, Canaryfly, Ryanair, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Vueling Airlines. Other airlines operate a base for connecting charter flights to Cape Verde and Gambia (TUIfly and TUIfly Nordic), only in winter season.


Main terminal building
Apron view

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 Málaga, 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.[5] 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 and the provision of a visual approach slope indicator system. In 1964, a transmission station was built. In 1966 a new control tower was completed, replacing the old control tower that was constructed in 1946.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] In addition to Gran Canaria these include Lanzarote and Tenerife South. Ryanair presently operates 30 routes from Gran Canaria. The airport was an official alternative (emergency) landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle, before the ending of Space Shuttle programme in July 2011.

As of 2011, there was a programme to expand the airport building a new terminal and a new runway.[6] In 2015 a major renovation of Gran Canaria airport was completed. Among the improvements was 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 is now fully active, doubling the previous 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 increase passenger traffic. Despite being a building of historical interest, in 2013 the original passenger terminal building, opened in 1946, was demolished to make way for a further extension which opened in 2014. Although dramatically expanded over the years the airport remains a single terminal airport.

There are four check-in areas. Check-in Area 1 (desks 101 to 118) is in the newest part of the airport (which opened on 16 July 2014) and serves exclusively flights operated by CanaryFly and Binter Canarias (mainly inter-island flights between the Canary Islands or to Morocco). Check-in Area 2 (desks 201 to 234) is located in the first part of the "new" airport which opened in 1973. This area was completely refurbished in 2014 and is used for flights handled by Ground Force (Globalia Handling). Check-in Area 3 (desks 301 to 352) is in the second part of the "new" airport which originally opened in 1991 and is used for flights handled by Iberia. Check-in Area 4 (desks 401 to 406) is located downstairs between the police station and the main car rental offices (Hertz, Europcar, CICAR, Top Car AutoReisen, Gold Car and Avis Rent a Car System), and is used exclusively by Ryanair.

There are two security filters where passengers pass from the general public areas into the departures area. At these security filters passengers and their hand luggage is scanned to ensure no prohibited items pass. The main security filter is located between Check-in Areas 2 and 3. There is a second filter located in Check-in Area 1 which is intended to serve exclusively passengers of CanaryFly and Binter Canarias.

The terminal departures area is split into four zones (A, B, C and D). Zone A is for flights to the other Canary Islands, Zones B and C are for European Union and Scandinavian flights and Zone D is for other international flights. The gates in Zone A are at ground floor level to the Northern end of the terminal. Other gates are on the first floor (the same level as the security filters into departures) those in Zone D featuring additional security to allow for the screening of international passengers.

There are two arrivals areas numbered "1" and "2" both located downstairs at ground level. Area 1 serves all arrivals of flights originating within Spain and is located to the Northern end of the airport. Some of the car rental companies have additional counters in this area as it is a considerable walk to the main car rental area. Area 2 serves all international arrivals and is located to the Southern end of the airport. As the majority of arrivals served by area 2 are for tourist flights, many bringing passengers traveling on package holidays organised by tour operators, there is a large coach park (Parking A) located immediately in front of this area. Overflow coach parking (which is required only in the Winter months) is provided at the departures level (Parking B) and is accessed from arrivals area 2 via a purpose built pedestrian tunnel with stairs and travelators.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations Zone
Aer Lingus Cork, Dublin C
Air Berlin Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin–Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Nuremberg, Paderborn/Lippstadt, Zürich
Seasonal: Stuttgart
Air Europa Asturias, Bilbao, Madrid, Málaga, Santiago de Compostela, Seville B, C
ASL Airlines France Charter: Paris-Charles de Gaulle C
ASL Airlines Ireland Charter: Dublin C
Atlantic Airways Seasonal charter: Vágar (begins 17 December 2016)[7] C
Austrian Airlines Vienna C
Azores Airlines Funchal, Ponta Delgada C
Binter Canarias
operated by Air Nostrum
Dakar D
Binter Canarias
operated by Naysa
Agadir, Banjul, El Aaiún, El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, La Palma, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Marrakech, Nouakchott, Praia, Sal, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South A, C, D
British Airways Seasonal: London Heathrow C
Brussels Airlines Brussels[8] C
CanaryFly Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife–North[9] A, D
Condor Berlin-Schönefeld, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Stuttgart C
Corendon Dutch Airlines Amsterdam C
easyJet Bristol (begins 28 September 2016),[10] London–Gatwick, Manchester (begins 2 November 2016)[11]
Seasonal: London-Southend (begins 6 November 2016), Newcastle (begins 1 November 2016)[12]
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse C
Danish Air Transport Charter: Aalborg, Aarhus, Billund, Copenhagen, Gothenburg-Landvetter C
Edelweiss Air Zürich C
Enter Air Charter: Katowice, Kraków, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Poznań, Warsaw–Chopin, Wroclaw C
Eurowings Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Vienna (begins 30 October 2016)[13] C
Evelop Airlines Charter: Almeria, Asturias, Borlänge-Dala, Porto, Santa Clara, Tampere, Trondheim, Valencia C, D
Finnair Helsinki C
Germania[14] Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt/Weimar, Friedrichshafen, Hamburg, Kassel, Münster/Osnabrück, Nuremberg (begins 2 November 2016), Rostock
Seasonal charter: Toulouse[15]
Germania Flug Seasonal: Zurich[16] C
Germanwings Cologne/Bonn C
Helvetic Airways Seasonal: Zürich C
operated by Air Nostrum
Alicante, Valencia
Seasonal: Asturias, León, Melilla, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Valladolid, Vigo
B, C
Iberia Express Asturias, London-Heathrow, Madrid B Belfast–International, Birmingham (begins 1 April 2017),[17] East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne C
Jetairfly Brussels, Charleroi, Liège, Ostend/Bruges C
Jet Time Charter: Aalborg, Billund, Copenhagen C
Luxair Luxembourg C
Lufthansa Seasonal: Munich C
Mauritania Airlines International Nouadhibou, Nouakchott D
Mistral Air Charter: Milan-Bergamo, Rome-Fiumicino C
Monarch Airlines Birmingham, London-Gatwick, Manchester C
Neos Seasonal: Milan–Malpensa, Verona C
Niki Salzburg, Vienna
Seasonal: Graz
Norwegian Air Shuttle Barcelona, Berlin-Schönefeld, Bergen, Birmingham, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Helsinki, London–Gatwick, Madrid, Málaga, Munich, Oslo–Gardermoen, Sandefjord, Stockholm–Arlanda, Warsaw–Chopin
Seasonal: Aalborg, Billund, Bodø, Goteborg-Landvetter, Harstad/Narvik, Haugesund, Karlstad, Malmö, Oulu, Stavanger, Tromsø, Trondheim, Umeå
Novair Charter: Gothenburg-Landvetter, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda C
Primera Air Seasonal: Aalborg, Billund, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Malmö, Reykjavik, Stockholm-Arlanda C
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Dakhla, El Aaiún D
Ryanair Barcelona, Bergamo, Berlin-Schönefeld (begins 30 October 2016),[18] Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bremen, Bristol, Charleroi, Budapest,[19] Cologne/Bonn, Cork, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Glasgow (begins 30 October 2016),[20] Hahn, Hamburg (begins 1 November 2016), Kraków, Leeds/Bradford (begins 30 October 2016),[21] Liverpool, London-Luton, London–Stansted, Madrid, Manchester, Milan–Malpensa (begins 30 October 2016), Pisa, Prestwick, Sandefjord, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Valencia, Warsaw–Modlin, Weeze
Seasonal: Porto, Stockholm-Skavsta
Scandinavian Airlines Oslo–Gardermoen
Seasonal: Copenhagen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Charter: Ålesund, Bergen, Billund, Goteborg-Landvetter, Haugesund, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Trondheim
SmartLynx Airlines Charter: Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius C
operated by Travel Service
Prague C
operated by Travel Service Polska
Warsaw–Chopin C
SunExpress Deutschland Düsseldorf, Nuremberg[22] C
TACV Lisbon, Praia D
Thomas Cook Airlines Belfast–International, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Exeter, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal: London–Stansted (begins 21 July 2016)[23]
Thomas Cook Airlines
operated by SmartLynx Airlines
Seasonal: London-Gatwick[24] C
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Brussels C
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia Bergen, Billund, Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Aalborg, Göteborg–Landvetter, Helsinki, Jönköping, Karlstad, Kuopio, Luleå, Malmö, Örebro, Stavanger, Tromsø, Trondheim, Turku, Umeå, Vaasa
Thomson Airways Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich
Seasonal: Belfast-International (begins 20 May 2017)[25]
Transavia Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Munich (begins 29 October), Rotterdam C
Transavia France Charter: Paris–Orly C
Travel Service Charter: Lyon, Nantes, Paris–Charles de Gaulle C
Travel Service Hungary Seasonal charter: Budapest C
Travel Service Polska Seasonal charter: Poznań, Warsaw–Chopin C
Travel Service Slovakia Seasonal charter: Bratislava, Košice C
TUI Airlines Netherlands Amsterdam, Eindhoven
Seasonal: Groningen (begins 30 October 2016)
TUIfly Basel/Mulhouse, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Munich, Nuremberg, Saarbrücken, Stuttgart
Seasonal: Boa Vista, Helsinki, Lanzarote, La Palma, Sal, Sundsvall
TUIfly Nordic Copenhagen, Goteborg-Landvetter, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Billund, Boa Vista, Helsinki, Kuopio, Malmö, Oulu, Umeå, Vaasa
Volotea Bordeaux (begins 17 December), Nantes, Toulouse (begins 17 December) C
Vueling A Coruña, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bilbao, Málaga, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Orly, Seville, Rome–Fiumicino, Zurich B, C
XL Airways France Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle C
White Airways Charter: Lisbon C
WOW air Seasonal: Reykjavík-Keflavík C


Airlines Destinations
Swiftair Madrid


Passengers Aircraft movements Cargo (tonnes)
2000 9,376,640 98,063 43,706
2001 9,332,132 93,291 40,860
2002 9,009,756 93,803 39,638
2003 9,181,229 99,712 40,050
2004 9,467,494 104,659 40,934
2005 9,827,157 110,748 40,389
2006 10,286,726 114,949 38,360
2007 10,354,903 114,355 37,491
2008 10,212,123 116,252 33,695
2009 9,155,665 101,557 25,994
2010 9,486,035 103,087 24,528
2011 10,538,829 111,271 23,679
2012 9,892,067 100,393 20,601
2013 9,770,253 95,483 18,781
2014 10,315,732 102,211 19,821
2015 10,627,182 100,417 18,800
Source: Aena Statistics[1]
Busiest European Routes from Gran Canaria (2015)
Rank City Passengers Top Carriers
1 Flag of Germany.svg Düsseldorf, Germany 327,472 Air Berlin, Condor, Germanwings, TUIfly
2 Flag of Norway.svg Oslo Gardermoen, Norway 298,429 Norwegian Air Shuttle, SAS, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, TUIfly Nordic
3 Flag of Sweden.svg Stockholm Arlanda, Sweden 293,556 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, TUIfly Nordic
4 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Amsterdam, Netherlands 290,296 Arkefly, Corendon Airlines, Transavia, Vueling
5 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London Gatwick, United Kingdom 283,443 easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways
6 Flag of Germany.svg Frankfurt, Germany 215,099 Air Berlin, Condor, TUIfly
7 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Manchester,United Kingdom 208,613, Monarch, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomson Airways
8 Flag of Germany.svg Munich, Germany 206,002 Air Berlin, Condor, TUIfly
9 Flag of Denmark.svg Copenhagen, Denmark 198,708 Norwegian Air Shuttle, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, TUIfly Nordic
10 Flag of Finland.svg Helsinki, Finland 190,049 Finnair, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, TUIfly Nordic
Busiest Domestic Routes from Gran Canaria (2015)
Rank City Passengers Top Carriers
1 Flag of the Community of Madrid.svg Madrid–Barajas, Community of Madrid 1,312,752 Air Europa, Iberia, Ryanair
2 Flag of the Canary Islands.svg Tenerife, Canary Islands 603,108 Binter Canarias
3 Flag of the Canary Islands.svg Lanzarote, Canary Islands 528,869 Binter Canarias
4 Flag of the Canary Islands.svg Fuerteventura, Canary Islands 408,865 Binter Canarias
5 Flag of Catalonia.svg Barcelona, Catalonia 331,882 Ryanair, Vueling Airlines
6 Flag of Andalusia.svg Sevilla, Andalusia 175,346 Air Europa, Ryanair, Vueling Airlines
7 Flag of Andalusia.svg Málaga, Andalusia 111,161 Air Europa, Vueling Airlines
8 Flag of the Canary Islands.svg La Palma, Canary Islands 96,305 Binter Canarias
9 Flag of the Basque Country.svg Bilbao, Basque Country 95,431 Air Europa, Vueling Airlines
10 Flag of Galicia.svg Santiago de Compostela, Galicia 86,449 Air Europa, Ryanair
Busiest African Routes from Gran Canaria (2015)
Rank City Passengers Top Carriers
1 Flag of Cape Verde.svg Sal, Cape Verde 27,326 TACV, TUIFLY
2 Flag of Morocco.svg El Aaiun, Morocco 24,566 Binter Canarias, CanaryFly
3 Flag of Mauritania.svg Nouakchott, Mauritania 23,312 Binter Canarias
4 Flag of Cape Verde.svg Boa Vista, Cape Verde 19,492 TACV, TUIFLY
5 Flag of Senegal.svg Dakar, Senegal 14,601 Iberia
6 Flag of Morocco.svg Casablanca, Morocco 14,131 Binter Canarias
7 Flag of Morocco.svg Marrakech, Morocco 12,247 Binter Canarias
8 Flag of Mauritania.svg Nouadhibou, Mauritania 6,621 CanaryFly, Mauritania Internacional Airways
9 Flag of The Gambia.svg Banjul, Gambia 4,485 Binter Canarias
10 Flag of Morocco.svg Dakhla, Morocco 3,917 CanaryFly

Ground transportation[edit]

The airport can be reached by several island roads from all points in the island. There are special bus service from most towns in Gran Canaria, but access by taxi is usual.

Gran Canaria's main motorway GC1 runs past the airport providing transport links to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the North and to the tourist resorts in the South.

Military use[edit]

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, CASA 212 and the Eurocopter AS 532 of SAR .[26] 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.

Military activity was most intense during the mid 1970s, at the time of the crisis of decolonisation of Western Sahara and its occupation by Morocco. Military crises in Western Africa, like the 2013 Mali intervention by France, made Gando Air Base 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 the AFRICOM HQ was ultimately based in Stuttgart (Germany).

The Canary Islands Air Command (Mando Aéreo de CanariasMACAN) is based in the city of Las Palmas. Canary Islands Air Command is the only territorial general Air Command Air Force in Spain; its mission is the maintenance, preparation and command of air units located in the Canary archipelago.[27][28] 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 happens sometimes with heavy military transport, antisubmarine warfare and early warning airplanes; the islands do not have these on a permanent basis. Once the plane is released by the Canary Islands Air Command, it can leave the Canary Islands and reverts to the Air Force Commands of mainland Spain.

The deployment base of Gando Air Base is the Lanzarote Military Airfield (Aeródromo Militar de 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[edit]

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. Ten minutes' warning was given to the airport authorities,[29] who started to evacuate the building; the inside of the terminal was damaged and eight people were injured, one seriously. A later telephone call claimed responsibility for the explosion and hinted that a second bomb had been planted somewhere in the terminal building; the airport was closed and searched, necessitating the diversion of several incoming flights, including a number of large aircraft on long international flights, to Los Rodeos airport (later named Tenerife North Airport) on the nearby island of Tenerife. The resulting runway congestion on the small regional airport was a factor in the subsequent disaster at Los Rodeos, when just after 5pm two Boeing 747s originally bound for Gran Canaria collided on the Los Rodeos runway, resulting in 583 deaths, the worst aviation accident in history. KLM is at blame due to "Company Time" Limits.


  1. ^ a b AENA passenger statistics and aircraft movements. Retrieved on 2011-08-02.
  2. ^ Spanish AIP (AENA)
  3. ^ EAD Basic. Retrieved on 2011-08-02.
  4. ^ "Spanish Airport Authority" (PDF). 
  5. ^ Gran canaria history on Aena[dead link]
  6. ^ Space Shuttle Emergency Landing Sites. (2011-07-21). Retrieved on 2011-08-02.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "brussels airlines Adds Canary Islands Service in W15". 17 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Germania Flight Schedule / 30.12.2014 - 01.11.2015" (PDF). Germania. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ " Adds Birmingham Routes in S17". routesonline. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Ryanair Expands Berlin Schoenefeld Routes from Nov 2016". airlineroute. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  19. ^!-19041.html
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Thomson Airways". TUI Group. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  26. ^ Yañez and Rodriguez 2008, p. 23.
  27. ^ Orden DEF/1575/2007, de 28 de mayo, por la que se establecen las Comandancias Militares Aéreas de Aeropuerto y se fijan sus dependencias.
  28. ^ *Página del Ministerio del Aire de España
  29. ^ "Crash of the Century". Cineflix Productions.

External links[edit]

Media related to Gran Canaria Airport at Wikimedia Commons