Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport

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Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport

Aeropuerto de Santiago–Rosalía de Castro
Aeroporto de Santiago–Rosalía de Castro
Aena SCQ 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 (2022)
Passengers change 21-22Increase11.4%
Aircraft movements25,458
Movements change 21-22Increase13.6%
Control tower

Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport (Galician: Aeroporto de Santiago-Rosalía de Castro, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Santiago-Rosalía de Castro) (IATA: SCQ, ICAO: LEST), previously named Lavacolla Airport and also known as Santiago de Compostela Airport, 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. It has been named after the Galician romanticist writer and poetess, Rosalía de Castro, since 12 March 2020.[1]

The airport is located in the parish of Lavacolla, 12 km from Santiago de Compostela and handled 3,236,619 passengers in 2022. It is the 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.[2]

In 1969 a new terminal was built at the airport. It later underwent several expansions, including a remodeling in 1993.[citation needed]

Iberia launched a seasonal link to New York City, the first transatlantic route from Santiago de Compostela, in June 1980. The carrier operated the flight with Boeing 747 aircraft.[3][4] Four months later, Viasa added non-stop service to Caracas using McDonnell Douglas DC-10s.[3] In 1981, a cargo terminal was built, giving the airport capacity to handle cargo flights.[citation needed]

Viasa shut down in 1997, but Avensa resurrected the route to Caracas two years later.[3][5]

On 13 October 2011, a new passenger terminal opened at the airport.[citation needed]


The airport currently has one operating terminal. The old terminal at Santiago de Compostela airport opened in 1969 and was often expanded. The old terminal closed on the night of 13 October 2011 when 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, 4 baggage carousels, and 13 gates of which 5 have airbridges. 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.[6] The terminal is due to be expanded in the future. This includes adding another five airbridges to five of the current gates as well as three more baggage carousels and an expanded shopping area.[7]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport:

Aer Lingus Seasonal: Dublin
Air Europa Seasonal: Lanzarote, Tenerife–North (both resume 28 June 2023)[8]
easyJet Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva
Seasonal: London–Gatwick
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zurich
Iberia Madrid
Iberia Express Madrid
Iberia Regional Bilbao
Seasonal: Funchal (resumes 26 July 2023),[9] Gran Canaria, La Palma (begins 13 July 2023),[10] Tenerife–North
Lufthansa Seasonal: Frankfurt
Ryanair Alicante, Barcelona, Beauvais, Bergamo, Bologna, Bordeaux, Charleroi, Dublin, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, London–Stansted, Madrid, Málaga, Marseille, Memmingen, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Tenerife–South, Valencia, Zaragoza (resumes 27 March 2023)[11]
Seasonal: Girona, Ibiza, Menorca
Transavia Paris–Orly (ends 24 March 2023)
Vueling Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, London–Gatwick, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Seville, Tenerife–North, Valencia
Seasonal: Brussels, Zurich


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 3 million mark for the first time in 2022.[12]

Traffic figures by year[edit]

Annual passenger traffic at SCQ airport. See Wikidata query.
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% 2,693 Decrease 8.28%
2018 2,724,750 Increase 3.01% 21,839 Increase 1.50% 3,019 Increase 12.10%
2019 2,903,427 Increase 6.56% 22,396 Increase 2.55% 3,201 Increase 6.02%
2020 935,394 Decrease 67.8% 10,949 Decrease 51.1% 2,981 Decrease 6.9%
2021 1,653,821 Increase 76.8% 15,375 Increase 40.4% 4,938 Increase 65.6%
2022 3,236,619 Increase 95.7% 25,458 Increase 65.6% 4,853 Decrease 1.7%

Traffic figures by month[edit]

2022 Passengers 2023 Passengers Passengers % Change
January 130,796 214,616 Increase 64.1
February 136,467 194,488 Increase 42.5
March 190,548
April 292,643
May 307,168
June 323,409
July 364,186
August 374,867
September 338,643
October 332,020
November 211,853
December 234,019

Route statistics[edit]

Diagram of the airport
Busiest domestic routes at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2022)[13]
Rank City Passengers % Change
2021 / 22
1 Community of Madrid Madrid 502,555 Increase 69.8% Iberia, Iberia Express, Ryanair
2 Catalonia Barcelona 392,985 Increase 48.4% Ryanair, Vueling
3 Balearic Islands Palma de Mallorca 191,822 Increase 87.9% Ryanair, Vueling
4 Andalusia Sevilla 181,847 Increase 88.6% Ryanair, Vueling
5 Valencian Community Alicante 169,979 Increase 131.8% Ryanair, Vueling
6 Andalusia Málaga 169,507 Increase 62.3% Ryanair, Vueling
7 Canary Islands Gran Canaria 166,349 Increase 82.6% Iberia Regional, Ryanair, Vueling
8 Valencian Community Valencia 150,865 Increase 89.6% Ryanair, Vueling
9 Canary Islands Tenerife South 119,910 Increase 52.5% Ryanair
10 Canary Islands Lanzarote 113,654 Increase 43.6% Ryanair, Vueling

Busiest International routes at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2022)[13]
Rank City Passengers % Change
2021 / 22
1 United Kingdom London Stansted 110,726 Increase 192.1% Ryanair
2 Switzerland Geneva 94,455 Increase 77.9% easyJet Switzerland
3 United Kingdom London Gatwick 68,362 Increase 390.5% easyJet UK, Vueling
4 Republic of Ireland Dublin 58,783 Increase 727.4% Aer Lingus, Ryanair
5 Italy Milan Bergamo 56,092 Increase 195.5% Ryanair
6 Switzerland Basel 34,377 Increase 25.1% easyJet Switzerland
7 France Paris Beauvais 30,827
8 Italy Bologna 30,623 Increase 585.1% Ryanair
9 France Paris Charles de Gaulle 30,356
10 Germany Frankfurt 29,335 Increase 23.2% Lufthansa

Busiest countries of destination at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2022)[13]
Rank Country Passengers % Change
2021 / 22
Scheduled Carriers
1 Spain Spain 2,475,901 Increase 76.5% Iberia, Iberia Express, Iberia Regional, Ryanair, Vueling
2 United Kingdom United Kingdom 204,025 Increase 292.8% easyJet UK, Ryanair, Vueling
3 Switzerland Switzerland 152,801 Increase 67.1% easyJet Switzerland, Edelweiss, Vueling
4 France France 115,120 Increase 427.2% Ryanair, Transavia, Vueling
5 Italy Italy 87,409 Increase 265.2% Ryanair
6 Germany Germany 70,251 Increase 108.7% Lufthansa, Ryanair
7 Republic of Ireland Ireland 58,783 Increase 727.4% Aer Lingus, Ryanair
8 Belgium Belgium 40,283 Increase 674.1% Ryanair, Vueling
9 Netherlands Netherlands 23,084 Increase 84.4% Vueling
10 Egypt Egypt 2,835

Busiest Carriers at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2022)[13]
Rank Carriers Passengers % Change
2021 / 22
1 Republic of Ireland Ryanair 1,565,453 Increase 124.12%
2 Spain Vueling 1,020,584 Increase 84.0%
3 Spain Iberia Express 302,777 Increase 133.7%
4 Switzerland easyJet Switzerland 128,596 Increase 59.0%
5 Spain Iberia Regional 50,364 Increase 100.8%
6 Spain Iberia 41,146 Decrease 58.9%
7 Republic of Ireland Aer Lingus 34,572 Increase 386.8%
8 Germany Lufthansa 29,325 Increase 22.3%
9 France Transavia France 22,377 Increase 474.80%
10 United Kingdom easyJet UK 13,605 Increase 8,677.4%

Ground transportation[edit]


The airport is linked with Santiago de Compostela (13 km) by the Autovía A-54. This motorway, although some sections are yet to be built and opened, also connects the airport with Lugo (94.5 km), where it connects 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 connects the airport with the center of Santiago de Compostela and the bus and train terminal in the city regularly. 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 regional, medium and long-distance high-speed Alvia 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.[14]
  • 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.[15]
  • 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.[16]


  1. ^ Deaño Santiago, Carlos (12 March 2020). "Rebautizo oficial del aeropuerto como Rosalía de Castro". El Correo Gallego. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Miles de presos construyeron obras civiles y militares en Galicia hasta 1960". 13 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Lorenzo, S. (24 March 2019). "Los chárter maquillan una oferta estival en Lavacolla con menos rutas exteriores". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Iberia inaugura un vuelo semanal Santiago-Nueva York". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 15 June 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Viasa's Routes to Be Shared Between Venezuelan Carriers". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones Newswires. 8 October 1998. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  6. ^ New Terminal
  7. ^ New Terminal Expansion
  9. ^ "Iberia expands seasonal Funchal service in 3Q23". aeroroutes. 29 November 2022.
  10. ^ "La Palma tendrá conexiones con Málaga y Santiago este verano". atlanticohoy. 23 January 2023.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Annual Statistics" (in Spanish). Aena Aeropuertos S.A. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d Estadísticas aena-aeropuertos.
  14. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63 EC-BMX Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ)".
  15. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Beechcraft B300C Super King Air 350 F-GOAE Santiago de Compostella (SCQ)".
  16. ^ Santiago de Compostela accident

External links[edit]

Media related to Santiago de Compostela Airport at Wikimedia Commons