Tenerife North Airport

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Tenerife North Airport

Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte
Aena Tenerife N logo.png
Norda flughaveno de Tenerifo, turo, 2.jpeg
Airport typePublic
ServesSanta Cruz de Tenerife
LocationSan Cristóbal de La Laguna
Elevation AMSL633 m / 2,077 ft
Coordinates28°28′58″N 016°20′30″W / 28.48278°N 16.34167°W / 28.48278; -16.34167Coordinates: 28°28′58″N 016°20′30″W / 28.48278°N 16.34167°W / 28.48278; -16.34167
TFN is located in Canary Islands
Location of airport in Canary Islands
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 3,394 11,135 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passenger change 17-18Increase16.7%
Aircraft Movements73,222
Movements change 16-17Increase19.8%
Cargo (t)12,670
Cargo change 17-18Decrease 2.9%
Source: Statistics from AENA[1][1]

Tenerife North Airport (IATA: TFN, ICAO: GCXO), formerly Los Rodeos Airport, is one of the two international airports on the island of Tenerife, Spain. It is located in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, 11 km (6.8 mi) by road from Santa Cruz and at an altitude of 633 metres (2,077 ft). It handled 3,717,944 passengers in 2012. Combined with Tenerife South Airport, the island gathers the highest passenger movement of all the Canary Islands, with 12,248,673 passengers,[1] surpassing Gran Canaria Airport. Today TFN is an inter-island hub connecting all seven of the main Canary Islands with connections to the Iberian Peninsula and Europe.

On 27 March 1977, Los Rodeos Airport was the site of the worst accident in aviation history, when two Boeing 747s collided on the runway in heavy fog causing the deaths of 583 passengers and crew.


Early years[edit]

Many years before the airport had even been built, the field at Los Rodeos was hastily prepared to accommodate the first (though unofficial) flight into Tenerife operated by an Arado V I (D-1594) aircraft operating from Berlin on behalf of Deutsche Luft Hansa.

In May 1930, the Compañía de Líneas Aéreas Subvencionadas S.A. (C.L.A.S.S.A.) established the first air link between the Spanish mainland and the Canary Islands using a Ford 4-AT Trimotor (M-CKKA), which took off from Getafe, Madrid to the Los Rodeos field via Casablanca, Cape Juby and Gando in Gran Canaria.

After the final location of the airport had been decided, funds were gathered between 1935 and 1939 to build a small hangar and begin expanding the airstrip which would become Los Rodeos. In July 1936 Francisco Franco did not fly from here after taking over the island to invade the mainland Spain. He flew from Gando (Gran Canaria), in a DH-89 Dragon Rapide chartered to the British company Olley Air Service.

Operations into Los Rodeos recommenced on 23 January 1941 with a De Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide operating an Iberia flight from Gando in Gran Canaria. By 1946, more hangars, a passenger terminal and an 800 m (2,625 ft) paved runway had been built, and the airport was officially opened to all national and international traffic. The runway was stretched at various times during the 1940s and 1950s, reaching a length of 2,400 m (7,874 ft) in 1953, by which time the airport was also equipped with runway edge lighting and an air-ground radio, enabling night operations.

Development since the 1960s[edit]

By 1964, runway 12/30 had been stretched to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) to accommodate the DC-8, new navigation aids were installed, and the apron was expanded to provide more parking spaces for aircraft. In 1971, with the prospect of the Boeing 747 flying into the airport, the runway was reinforced and an ILS (Instrument Landing System) was installed.

A new airport, Tenerife South Airport, was inaugurated on 6 November 1978, in response to the 1977 Tenerife airport disaster which resulted in the highest number of fatalities (excluding ground fatalities) of any single accident in aviation history. The south airport is situated at sea level to avert the occurrence of fog, one of the reasons for the crash.

A new terminal was opened at Tenerife North Airport in 2002, comprising car park, motorway access ramps, and four-story terminal building, with 12 gates. The airport regained its international status when flights to Caracas began. An inter-island domestic area was opened in 2005.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Tenerife North:[2]

Air Europa Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga, Seville
Seasonal: Bilbao
Air Europa Express Gran Canaria [3]
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome-Fiumicino
Binter Canarias El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Palma de Mallorca, Vigo[4]
Seasonal: Agadir, Marrakesh
Bulgaria Air Seasonal charter: Sofia
CanaryFly El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Lanzarote
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki
Iberia Express Madrid
Seasonal: Asturias, Vigo
Iberia Regional Seasonal: Alicante, Badajoz, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia, Valladolid
Norwegian Air Shuttle Bilbao (ends 25 October 2019),[5] Barcelona (ends 26 October 2019), Madrid (ends 5 January 2020)[6]
Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas Caracas
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Ryanair Barcelona, Madrid
Vueling A Coruña, Alicante, Asturias,[7] Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada, Lisbon,[7] Málaga, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Valencia, Zaragoza


Swiftair Madrid[citation needed]


Tenerife North Airport Passenger Totals 2000–2018 (millions)
View of the Airport
Check-in hall
Apron view
Passengers Aircraft movements Cargo (tonnes)
2000 2,411,100 48,902 22,462
2001 2,511,277 49,132 21,060
2002 2,486,227 48,785 21,148
2003 2,919,087 53,718 23,842
2004 3,368,988 56,592 23,647
2005 3,754,513 60,235 22,163
2006 4,025,601 65,297 23,193
2007 4,125,131 65,843 25,169
2008 4,236,615 67,800 20,781
2009 4,054,147 62,776 18,304
2010 4,051,155 61,607 15,918
2011 4,095,103 62,590 15,745
2012 3,717,944 55,789 14,778
2013 3,524,470 49,289 13,493
2014 3,633,030 52,694 13,991
2015 3,815,315 53,259 12,819
2016 4,219,633 55,669 12,426
2017 4,704,863 61,098 13,044
Source: AENA[8]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Tenerife airport disaster[edit]

On 27 March 1977, Tenerife North Airport (then Tenerife Los Rodeos) was the scene of the deadliest accident in aviation history, which claimed the lives of 583 people. While attempting to take off, KLM Flight 4805, a Boeing 747-206B, collided with Pan Am Flight 1736, a Boeing 747-121, which was taxiing along the runway. All 248 passengers and crew on the KLM flight were killed, along with 335 occupants of the Pan Am flight; however, 61 of the passengers and crew on board the Pan Am survived. Neither of the two airliners was originally scheduled to land on Tenerife, as both flights were bound for Gran Canaria Airport but had been diverted to Los Rodeos as a result of a terrorist bombing at Gran Canaria.

Other incidents[edit]

Date Airline Aircraft type Registration Flight number People on board Fatalities
1956-09-29 Aviaco SNCASE Languedoc EC-AKV 38 0+1
1964-07-03 Ejercito del Aire Douglas DC-3 21 4
1965-05-05 Iberia Lockheed L-1049G EC-AIN 401 49 30
1965-12-07 Spantax Douglas DC-3 EC-ARZ 32 32
1966-09-16 Iberia Douglas DC-3 EC-ACX IB-261 27 1
1970-01-05 Iberia Fokker F-27 Friendship 600 EC-BOD 49 0
1972-12-03 Spantax Convair CV-990 EC-BZR 275 155 155
1978-02-15 Sabena Boeing 707-329 OO-SJE 196 0
1980-04-25 Dan-Air Boeing 727-46 G-BDAN 1008 146 146


  1. ^ a b "AENA statistics for 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Infovuelos, toda la información de vuelos de Aena" [Flight info, all Aena flight information]. Aena (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Iniciamos los vuelos interislas Canarias" [We start the Canary interislas flights]. Air Europa (in Spanish). 16 April 2019.
  4. ^ Ltd. 2019, UBM (UK). "Binter adds Tenerife North – Vigo service from Nov 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  5. ^ RLP (19 June 2019). "A Canarias le sienta bien «las dudas» financieras de Norwegian" [The Canary Islands are well suited to Norwegian's "financial doubts"]. ABC (in Spanish).
  6. ^ "Norwegian confirma que desmantela su base de Madrid". Preferente (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b Jim Liu (25 April 2019). "Vueling expands Tenerife North network in S19". routesonline.com. informa markets.
  8. ^ "Estadísticas de tráfico aéreo: Pasajeros, operaciones y carga" [Air traffic statistics: Passengers, operations and cargo]. Aena (in Spanish). 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Tenerife North Airport at Wikimedia Commons