Santiago de Compostela Airport

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Santiago de Compostela Airport

Aeroporto de Santiago de Compostela
Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela
Aena Santiago logo.svg
Santiago de Compostela - LEST Terminal.jpg
Airport typePublic/Military
ServesSantiago, Galicia, Spain
LocationSantiago de Compostela
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL1,213 ft / 370 m
Coordinates42°53′47″N 08°24′55″W / 42.89639°N 8.41528°W / 42.89639; -8.41528Coordinates: 42°53′47″N 08°24′55″W / 42.89639°N 8.41528°W / 42.89639; -8.41528
SCQ is located in Galicia
Location in Galicia
SCQ is located in Spain
SCQ (Spain)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 10,499 3,200 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passengers change 17-18Increase3.0%
Aircraft movements21,839
Movements change 17-18Increase1.5%
Control tower

Santiago de Compostela Airport (Galician: Aeroporto de Santiago de Compostela, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela) (IATA: SCQ, ICAO: LEST) is an international airport serving the autonomous community and historical region of Galicia in Spain. It is the 2nd busiest airport in northern Spain after Bilbao Airport.

The airport is located in the parish of Lavacolla, 12 km from Santiago de Compostela and handled 2,724,750 passengers in 2018. It is the main focus city of Vueling in the northwest Iberian Peninsula, and Ryanair's only focus city in Northern Spain. The Christian pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago runs near the airport.


The airport was set up by a group of aviation enthusiasts in October 1932 and two months directors were chosen to select where the airport was going to be built. In 1935 construction work started at the airport where two years later on 27 September 1937 the first scheduled flight from Santiago de Compostela took place.[citation needed] After the Spanish Civil war, political prisoners (who were held in the concentration camp of Lavacolla) were forced to work in the construction of the airport.[1]

In 1969 a new terminal was built at the airport. It has had several expansions taking place since it opened.[citation needed] It closed in 2011 following a brand new terminal being built at the airport. In 1981, a cargo terminal was built, giving the airport capacity to handle cargo flights.[2] During the 1990s, the airport had non-stop service to South America operated by Viasa.[3]

On 13 October 2011 a new passenger terminal opened at the airport, replacing the old terminal, opened in 1969 and remodeled in 1993.


The airport currently has one operating terminal. The Old terminal at Santiago de Compostela airport opened in 1969 and had lots of expansions during its lifetime. The terminal closed on the night of 13 October 2011 where operations transferred to the new terminal.

The New terminal at Santiago de Compostela Airport officially opened on 13 October 2011 and passenger operations transferred there the following day. It is adjacent to the old terminal and has a size of 74,000 sq m. It has 22 check-in desks, 3 security checkpoints, 13 gates of which 5 have airbridges and 4 baggage carousels. The baggage hall is split into two zones, one for Schengen flights and one for Non-Schengen. It can handle as many as 4 million passengers per year.[4] The terminal is due to be expanded in the future. This includes adding another 5 airbridges to 5 of the current gates as well as 3 more baggage carousels and an expanded shopping area.[5]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Aer Lingus Seasonal: Dublin
Air Europa Gran Canaria
Seasonal: Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South
easyJet Seasonal: London–Gatwick, Milan–Malpensa
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva
Iberia Madrid
Iberia Express Madrid
Iberia Regional Bilbao, Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Gran Canaria, Madeira, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Ryanair Alicante, Barcelona, Bergamo, Gran Canaria, Hahn (ends 26 October 2019)[6], Lanzarote, London–Stansted, Madrid, Málaga, Malta (begins 29 October 2019)[7], Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Tenerife–South, Valencia
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Zürich
Vueling Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome–Fiumicino, Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Brussels, Zürich


During the early 2000s, numbers increased significantly at the airport, from 1.24 million in 2002 to peak at 2.46 million in 2011. Because of the financial crisis in Spain, those numbers decreased to 2.1 million in 2014. Cargo has decreased significantly over the last ten years. The Spanish economic recovery in the mid-2010s and the rise of Santiago de Compostela as an international destination are again increasing passenger numbers, breaking the 2.50 million mark for the first time in 2016.[8]

Traffic figures by year[edit]

Santiago de Compostela Airport Passenger Totals 2000-2018 (millions)
Updated: 15 January 2019.[8]
Passengers handled Passengers % Change Aircraft movements Aircraft % Change Freight (tonnes) Freight % Change
2000 1,332,893 - 19,660 - 6,773 -
2001 1,281,334 Decrease 3.86% 19,084 Decrease 2.92% 6,228 Decrease 8.04%
2002 1,240,730 Decrease 3.16% 17.362 Decrease 9.02% 5,716 Decrease 8.22%
2003 1,381,826 Increase 11.37% 18,454 Increase 6.28% 5,318 Decrease 6.96%
2004 1,580,675 Increase 14.39% 21,593 Increase 17.00% 4,938 Decrease 7.14%
2005 1,843,118 Increase 16.60% 25,693 Increase 18.98% 3,805 Decrease 22.94%
2006 1,994,519 Increase 8.21% 24,719 Decrease 3.79% 2,587 Decrease 32.01%
2007 2,050,172 Increase 2.79% 24,643 Decrease 0.30% 2,749 Increase 6.26%
2008 1,917,466 Decrease 6.47% 21,945 Decrease 10.94% 2,418 Decrease 12.04%
2009 1,944,068 Increase 1.38% 20,166 Decrease 8.10% 1,988 Decrease 17.78%
2010 2,172,869 Increase 11.76% 21,252 Increase 5.38% 1,964 Decrease 1.20%
2011 2,464,330 Increase 13.41% 22,322 Increase 5.03% 1,787 Decrease 9.01%
2012 2,194,611 Decrease 10.94% 19,511 Decrease 12.59% 1,815 Increase 1.56%
2013 2,073,055 Decrease 5.53% 18,688 Decrease 4.21% 1,929 Increase 6.28%
2014 2,083,873 Increase 0.52% 19,431 Increase 3.97% 2,095 Increase 8.60%
2015 2,296,248 Increase 10.20% 20,540 Increase 5.70% 2,311 Increase 10.10%
2016 2,510,740 Increase 9.30% 21,227 Increase 3.60% 2,936 Increase 27.04%
2017 2,644,925 Increase 5.34% 21,520 Increase 1.38% - -
2018 2,724,750 Increase 3.01% 21,839 Increase 1.50% - -

Traffic figures by month[edit]

2018 Passengers 2019 Passengers Passengers % Change
January 177,018 178,769 Increase 1.0%
February 167,158 165,186 Decrease 1.2%
March 214,110 211,525 Decrease 1.2%
April 232,963 253,393 Increase 8.8%
May 245,963 263,221 Increase 7.0%
June 262,159 277,933 Increase 6.0%
July 265,768 -
August 267,549 -
September 257,990 -
October 245,707 -
November 187,961 -
December 200,404 -

Route statistics[edit]

Diagram of the airport
Busiest domestic routes at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2018)[9]
Rank City Passengers % Change
2017 / 18
1 Community of Madrid Madrid 673.936 Increase 9.13% Iberia, Iberia Express, Ryanair
2 Catalonia Barcelona 433.678 Increase 2.80% Ryanair, Vueling
3 Balearic Islands Palma de Mallorca 158.247 Increase 2.35% Air Europa, Iberia Regional, Ryanair, Vueling
4 Valencian Community Alicante 122.280 Increase 2.75% Ryanair, Vueling
5 Andalusia Málaga 115.579 Increase 7.16% Ryanair, Vueling
6 Valencian Community Valencia 94.387 Decrease 6.28% Ryanair
7 Canary Islands Gran Canaria 92.585 Decrease 2.75% Air Europa, Iberia Regional, Ryanair
8 Canary Islands Tenerife (South) 88.724 Decrease 9.64% Air Europa, Ryanair
9 Andalusia Sevilla 75.652 Decrease 10.60% Ryanair
10 Canary Islands Lanzarote 75.517 Decrease 1.49% Air Europa, Ryanair, Vueling

Busiest International routes at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2018)[9]
Rank City Passengers % Change
2017 / 18
1 Switzerland Geneva 98.585 Increase 3.74% easyJet Switzerland
2 United Kingdom London (Stansted) 77.043 Decrease 0.56% Ryanair
3 France Paris (Charles de Gaulle) 53.381 Increase 13.20% Vueling
4 Italy Milan (Bergamo) 45.844 Decrease 8.91% Ryanair
5 Switzerland Basel 44.504 Decrease 6.36% easyJet Switzerland
6 Republic of Ireland Dublin 44.024 Increase 34.91% Aer Lingus
7 Germany Frankfurt (Hahn) 42.359 Increase 16.39% Ryanair
8 Germany Frankfurt 41.047 Increase 37.82% Lufthansa
7 Switzerland Zürich 39.505 Increase 8.16% Swiss, Vueling
10 United Kingdom London (Gatwick) 34.484 Decrease 41.45% easyJet, Vueling

Busiest countries of destination at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2018)[9]
Rank Country Passengers % Change
2017 / 18
Scheduled Carriers
1 Spain Spain 2.069.556 Increase 2.75% Air Europa, Iberia, Iberia Express, Iberia Regional, Ryanair, Vueling
2 Switzerland Switzerland 182.606 Increase 1.96% easyJet Switzerland, Swiss, Vueling
3 United Kingdom United Kingdom 113.272 Decrease 23.06% easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling
4 Germany Germany 102.318 Increase 38.27% Lufthansa, Ryanair
5 Italy Italy 100.173 Increase 0.60% easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling
6 France France 53.853 Increase 13.60% Vueling
7 Republic of Ireland Ireland 44.024 Increase 34.91% Aer Lingus
8 Netherlands Netherlands 28.735 Increase 27.30% Vueling
9 Belgium Belgium 16.847 Increase 4.58% Vueling
10 Portugal Portugal 3.130 Decrease 23.86% Iberia Regional

Busiest Carriers at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2018)[9]
Rank Carriers Passengers % Change
2017 / 18
1 Republic of Ireland Ryanair 1.110.368 Decrease 0.12%
2 Spain Vueling 602.817 Increase 0.94%
3 Spain Iberia Express 448.465 Increase 10.30%
4 Switzerland easyJet Switzerland 143.058 Increase 0.36%
5 Spain Air Europa 108.032 Decrease 8.73%
6 Spain Iberia Regional 84.422 Increase 11.67%
8 Germany Lufthansa 58.393 Increase 56.70%
7 United Kingdom easyJet 54.489 Increase 8.09%
9 Republic of Ireland Aer Lingus 43.806 Increase 34.25%
10 Switzerland Swiss International Air Lines 24.099 Increase 18.63%

Ground transportation[edit]


The airport is linked with Santiago de Compostela (13 km) by the Autovía A-54. This motorway is currently being extended to Lugo (94.5 km) where it will connect with the Autovía A-6, providing toll-free motorway access to the rest of Spain; and to the French border through the Autovía A-8 that intersects with the Autovía A-6 near Lugo. Nearby Autopista AP-9 connects the airport directly to A Coruña (66 km), Ferrol (88 km), Pontevedra (75 km), Vigo (100 km) and the Portuguese border. Ourense (116 km) is reachable through the Autopista AP-53 that connects with the Autopista AP-9.

There are several major car rental companies at the airport. The airport has more than 5,000 short and long-term covered parking spaces in the new terminal building. In addition, there are several low-cost, long-term private parking facilities around the airport.

Bus services[edit]

A city bus service operated by Empresa Freire every 30 minutes connects the airport with the center of Santiago de Compostela, and the bus and train terminals in the city. From the station in Santiago de Compostela, private coach operators run direct services in a multiple daily basis to most cities and towns in Galicia, including A Coruña, Ferrol, Lugo, Ourense, Pontevedra and Vigo, as well as long-distance services to the rest of Spain, and international services. In addition, three regional services link the airport directly to A Coruña, to Lugo, including several stops in the French Way of the Camino de Santiago, and to the A Mariña coastal area (home to As Catedrais beach) in the province of Lugo.


There are no rail facilities at the airport. However the train station in Santiago de Compostela, located 12 km. away, is connected to the airport by the city bus service every 30 minutes. There are combined available train+bus tickets to and from the airport. The train station in Santiago de Compostela has medium and long-distance high-speed Alvia and AVE services to most cities in Galicia, including A Coruña, Ferrol, Ourense, Pontevedra, Vilagarcía and Vigo; and further to Madrid Chamartín and the rest of Spain.

Foot and bike[edit]

The Camino de Santiago runs next to the runway of the airport. This is the busiest and final journey in the Camino de Santiago that goes through the famous Monte do Gozo. There are dedicated pathways for both pedestrians and bikers towards the city. The walking distance from the runway to the Cathedral is estimated at 10.90 km.

Accidents and Incidents[edit]

  • On 3 March 1978, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63 operated by Iberia from Madrid–Barajas Airport with 211 passengers and 11 crew members, registration EC-BMX. The aircraft touched down far down the runway after a high approach, aquaplaned off the runway, dropped into a hollow 20m deep and caught fire. The crash was settled with 70 injured people, 10 of them seriously injured, and no fatalities.[10]
  • On 7 June 2001, a Beechcraft B300C Super King Air 350, registration F-GOAE, departed from Le Mans-Arnage Airport (LME), France, to Santiago De Compostela Airport (SCQ), Spain, on a cargo flight according to instrument flight rules. Near the destination airport, the meteorological conditions were reported to be good, and the crew requested a visual approach to runway 17, even though the active runway was 35. Once cleared to land, the aircraft encountered a fog patch and from this moment it began a high ate descent (2000 to 3000 ft/min). A minute after entering an unexpected and unforeseen fog patch, the aircraft struck some trees in level flight and with an airspeed of 148 kt. The wings and engines detached from the fuselage, and they dragged along a scrubland area until they came to a stop. The crew suffered minor injuries and the aircraft was completely destroyed.[11]
  • On 2 August 2012, an Airnor Cessna 500 Citation I, registration EC-IBA, flying from Asturias crashed whilst on approach to the airport with the loss of both crew members.[12]


  1. ^
  2. ^ History of Santiago de Compostela Airport
  3. ^
  4. ^ New Terminal
  5. ^ New Terminal Expansion
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Annual Statistics" (in Spanish). Aena Aeropuertos S.A. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d Estadísticas aena-aeropuertos.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Santiago de Compostela accident

External links[edit]

Media related to Santiago de Compostela Airport at Wikimedia Commons