Madrid–Barajas Airport

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Template:Refimprove Template:Expand Spanish Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox airport

Madrid–Barajas Airport (Template:Lang-es Template:IPA-es) Template:Airport codes is the main international airport serving Madrid in Spain. In 2011 and 2010, over 49 million passengers used Madrid-Barajas,<ref name=aenapax/> making it the country's largest and busiest airport, and in 2013 it was Europe's sixth busiest airport. It opened in 1928, and has grown to be one of the most important aviation centres of Europe. Located within the city limits of Madrid, just Template:Convert from the city's financial district and Template:Convert northeast of the Puerta del Sol, Madrid's historic centre. The airport name derives from the adjacent district of Barajas, which has its own metro station on the same rail line serving the airport.

The Madrid–Barcelona air shuttle service, known as the "Puente Aéreo" (in Spanish), literally called "Air Bridge", is the second busiest air route in Europe after ?stanbul Atatürk and ?zmir, with the highest number of flight operations (55 daily) in 2012. The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when the Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line was opened, covering the distance in 2½ hours, and quickly became popular. Barajas serves as the gateway to the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe and the world, and is a particularly key link between Europe and Latin America. The airport is the primary hub and maintenance base for Iberia. Consequently, Iberia is responsible for more than 60 percent of Barajas' traffic.


File:Barajas interior3.jpg
Terminal 4 landside area

The airport was constructed in 1927, opening to national and international air traffic on 22 April 1931, although regular commercial operations began two years later. A small terminal was constructed with a capacity for 30,000 passengers a year, in addition to several hangars and the building of the Avión Club. The first regular flight was established by Lineas Aéreas Postales Españolas (LAPE) with its line to Barcelona. Later, in the 1930s international flights started to serve some European and African destinations.

Originally, the flight field was a large circle bordered in white with the name of Madrid in its interior, unpaved, consisting of land covered with natural grass. It was not until the 1940s that the flight field was paved and new runways were designed. The first runway which started operation in 1944 was 1,400 metres long and 45 metres wide. By the end of the decade the airport had three runways, none of which exists today. In the late 1940s, scheduled flights to Latin America and the Philippines started.

In the 1950s, the airport supported over half a million passengers, increasing to 5 runways and scheduled flights to New York City began. The National Terminal, currently T2, began construction in 1954, and was inaugurated later that year. In the Plan of Airports of 1957, Barajas Airport is classified as a first-class international airport. By the 1960s, large jets were landing at Barajas, and the growth of traffic mainly as a result of tourism exceeded forecasts. At the beginning of the decade, the airport reached the 1.2 million passengers, double that envisaged in the Plan of Airports of 1957.

In the 1970s, with the boom in tourism and the arrival of the Boeing 747, the airport reached 4 million passengers, and began the construction of the international terminal (current T1). In 1974, Iberia, L.A.E. introduced the shuttle service between Madrid and Barcelona, a service with multiple daily frequencies and available without prior reservation.

The 1982 FIFA World Cup brought significant expansion and modernisation of the airport's two existing terminals.

In the 1990s, the airport expanded further. In 1994, the first cargo terminal was constructed, and the control tower was renovated. In 1997, it opened the North Dock, which is used as an exclusive terminal for Iberia's Schengen flights. In 1998, it inaugurated a new control tower, 71 m tall, and then in 1999 the new South Dock opened, which implies an expansion of the international terminal. During this time, the distribution of the terminals changed: The south dock and most of the International Terminal were now called T1, the rest of the International Terminal and Domestic Terminal were now called T2 and the north dock was called T3.

In November 1998, the new runway 18R-36L started operations (replacing the previous 18–36), 4,400 m long, one of the largest in Europe under expansion plans called Major Barajas. In 2000, it began the construction of new terminals T4 and its satellite, T4S, designed by architects Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers, and two parallel runways to the existing ones.

The new terminals and runways were completed in 2004, but administrative delays and equipment, as well as the controversy over the redeployment of terminals, delayed service until 5 February 2006.

In 2007, the airport processed more than 52 million passengers.

Barajas today

Terminal 4, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers (winning team of the 2006 Stirling Prize), and TPS Engineers, (winning team of the 2006 IStructE Award for Commercial Structures) was built by Ferrovial and inaugurated on 5 February 2006. Terminal 4 is one of the world's largest airport terminals in terms of area, with 760,000 square meters (8,180,572 square feet) in separate landside and airside structures. It consists of a main building, T4 (470,000 m²), and a satellite building, T4S (290,000 m²), which are approximately 2.5 km apart. The new Terminal 4 is meant to give passengers a stress-free start to their journey. This is managed through careful use of illumination, with glass panes instead of walls, and numerous domes in the roof which allow natural light to pass through. With this new addition, Barajas is designed to handle 70 million passengers annually.

During the construction of Terminal 4, two more runways (15L/33R and 18L/36R) were constructed to aid in the flow of air traffic arriving and departing from Barajas. These runways were officially inaugurated on 5 February 2006 (together with the terminals), but had already been used on several occasions beforehand to test flight and air traffic manoeuvres. Thus, Barajas came to have four runways: two on a north–south axis and parallel to each other (separated by 1.8 km) and two on a northwest–southeast axis (and separated by 2.5 km). This allowed simultaneous takeoffs and landings into the airport, allowing 120 operations an hour (one takeoff or landing every 30 seconds).

Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are adjacent terminals that are home to SkyTeam and Star Alliance airlines, as well as Air Europa. Terminal 4 is home to Iberia, its franchise Air Nostrum and all Oneworld partner airlines. Gate numbers are continuous in terminals 1, 2 and 3 (A1 to E89), but are separately numbered in terminal 4.

Barajas was voted "Best Airport" in the 2008 Condé Nast Traveller Reader Awards.

In December 2010, the Spanish government announced plans to tender Madrid-Barajas airport to companies in the private sector for a period of up to 40 years.

On 27 January 2012, Spanair suspended all flights affecting Madrid-Barajas as well as other domestic and international connections. On 20 September 2012, both runways 15/33 were renamed as 14R/32L (the longest) and 14L/32R (the shortest).

Airlines and destinations


File:Air Nostrum ATR-72-600 EC-LRH.jpg
Air Nostrum ATR 72-600 taxiing at Barajas Airport.
File:Air Europa - Boeing 737-85P EC-LPQ.jpg
Air Europa Boeing 737-800 taxiing at Barajas Airport.
File:Iberia Airbus A320-214 EC-ILQ.jpg
Iberia Airbus A320 taxiing at Barajas Airport.
File:Iberia Express Airbus A320-211 EC-FQY.jpg
Iberia Express Airbus A320 taxiing at Barajas Airport.
File:Cubana Ilyushin Il-96-300 Simon-2.jpg
Cubana de Aviación Ilyushin Il-96 taxiing at Barajas Airport.




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Traffic and statistics

File:Barajas interior6.jpg
T4 – Upper level to check-in, lower levels to Arrivals and metro station
File:Vista de Madrid desde Barajas 01.jpg
Terminal 4 overview with Madrid city in the background
File:MAD-LEMD Torre de Control desde su base.jpg
The main control tower in Terminal 4
File:MAD-LEMD T4 y cabecera 36L desde TWR.jpg
Traffic on Runway 36L with Terminal 4 in the background

Passenger numbers

Passengers Aircraft Movements Cargo (tonnes)
2001 34,050,215 375,558 295,944
2002 33,915,302 368,029 295,711
2003 35,855,861 383,804 307,026
2004 38,718,614 401,503 341,177
2005 42,146,784 415,704 333,138
2006 45,799,983 434,959 325,702
2007 52,110,787 483,292 325,201
2008 50,846,494 469,746 329,187
2009 48,437,147 435,187 302,863
2010 49,863,504 433,683 373,380
2011 50,662,512 429,390 394,154
2012 45,195,014 373,185 359,362
2013 39,729,027 333,065 345,802
Source: Aena Statistics<ref name=aenapax/>

Route statistics

Busiest domestic routes at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (2012)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Template:Flagicon Barcelona 2,579,018 Air Europa, Iberia, Vueling
2 Template:Flagicon Palma de Mallorca 1,441,342 Air Berlin, Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Ryanair
3 Template:Flagicon Gran Canaria 1,332,532 Air Europa, Iberia, Ryanair
4 Template:Flagicon Tenerife (North) 1,167,862 Air Europa, Iberia
5 Template:Flagicon Bilbao 839,216 Helitt Líneas Aéreas, Iberia, Ryanair
6 Template:Flagicon Santiago de Compostela 638,044 Air Nostrum, Iberia, Iberia Express, Ryanair
7 Template:Flagicon Ibiza 547,648 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Ryanair, Vueling
8 Template:Flagicon Asturias 527,411 Air Nostrum, Iberia, Ryanair
9 Template:Flagicon Vigo 520,320 Air Europa, Iberia Express
10 Template:Flagicon A Coruña 517,386 Air Nostrum, Iberia
11 Template:Flagicon Alicante 428,262 Iberia Express
12 Template:Flagicon Lanzarote 422,663 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Ryanair,
13 Template:Flagicon Málaga 402,875 Helitt Líneas Aéreas, Iberia Express
14 Template:Flagicon Seville 351,260 Iberia Express
15 Template:Flagicon Santander 320,672 Air Nostrum, Ryanair
16 Template:Flagicon Tenerife (South) 301,854 Air Europa, Ryanair
17 Template:Flagicon Jerez de la Frontera 297,049 Iberia Express
18 Template:Flagicon Valencia 271,964 Air Nostrum, Helitt Líneas Aéreas
19 Template:Flagicon Fuerteventura 242,635 Air Europa, Iberia Express
20 Template:Flagicon Almeria 232,987 Air Nostrum
21 Template:Flagicon Granada 207,805 Air Nostrum, Iberia Express
22 Template:Flagicon Minorca 187,135 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Orbest Orizonia Airlines, Ryanair, Vueling
23 Template:Flagicon San Sebastián 170,907 Air Nostrum
24 Template:Flagicon Pamplona 145,989 Air Nostrum
25 Template:Flagicon Girona 131,363
Busiest European routes at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (2012)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Template:Flagicon London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 1,197,697 British Airways, Iberia
2 Template:Flagicon Rome (Fiumicino), Italy 1,128,705 Air Europa, Alitalia, EasyJet, Iberia
3 Template:Flagicon Paris (Orly), France 1,127,232 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia
4 Template:Flagicon Lisbon, Portugal 1,109,917 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, EasyJet, Iberia, Portugalia Airlines, TAP Portugal
5 Template:Flagicon Paris (CDG), France 1,047,308 Air France, EasyJet, Vueling
6 Template:Flagicon Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1,034,423 Air Europa, Iberia, Iberia Express, KLM
7 Template:Flagicon Frankfurt, Germany 821,739 Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, LAN Airlines, Lufthansa
8 Template:Flagicon London (Gatwick), United Kingdom 704,189 Air Europa, EasyJet
9 Template:Flagicon Munich, Germany 665,641 Air Nostrum, Iberia, Lufthansa, Lufthansa CityLine
10 Template:Flagicon Geneva, Switzerland 649,232 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia, Swiss International Air Lines
11 Template:Flagicon Milan (Malpensa), Italy 647,709 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, EasyJet, Iberia
12 Template:Flagicon Brussels, Belgium 561,180 Air Europa, Brussels Airlines, Iberia
13 Template:Flagicon Zurich, Switzerland 493,609 Air Nostrum, Swiss International Air Lines
14 Template:Flagicon Porto, Portugal 398,223 Air Nostrum, Portugalia Airlines, Ryanair
15 Template:Flagicon Venice (Marco Polo), Italy 354,545 Air Nostrum, Iberia
16 Template:Flagicon Dublin, Ireland 328,951 Aer Lingus, Iberia Express, Ryanair
17 Template:Flagicon Charleroi, Belgium 306,436 Ryanair
18 Template:Flagicon Düsseldorf, Germany 275,364 Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Lufthansa CityLine
19 Template:Flagicon Bologna, Italy 264,910 Air Nostrum, Pullmantur Air, Ryanair
20 Template:Flagicon Berlin (Tegel), Germany 259,167 Air Berlin, Iberia Express
21 Template:Flagicon Milan (Linate), Italy 254,970 Alitalia CityLiner, Iberia
22 Template:Flagicon Athens, Greece 240,278 Aegean Airlines, Pullmantur Air
23 Template:Flagicon Copenhagen, Denmark 240,113 Iberia Express, Pullmantur Air, Scandinavian Airlines
24 Template:Flagicon Bucharest (Otopeni), Romania 235,474 Blue Air, TAROM, Wizz Air
25 Template:Flagicon London (Stansted), United Kingdom 232,833 Ryanair
Busiest intercontinental routes at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (2012)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Template:Flagicon Buenos Aires (Ezeiza), Argentina 782,068 Aerolíneas Argentinas, Air Europa, Iberia
2 Template:Flagicon New York (JFK), United States 685,078 Air Europa, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia
3 Template:Flagicon Lima, Peru 579,777 Air Europa, Iberia, LAN Perú
4 Template:Flagicon Bogotá, Colombia 498,321 Avianca, Iberia, Pullmantur Air
5 Template:Flagicon Mexico City, Mexico 491,952 Aeroméxico, Iberia
6 Template:Flagicon São Paulo (Guarulhos), Brazil 482,538 Air China, Iberia, TAM Airlines
7 Template:Flagicon Miami, United States 411,764 American Airlines, Iberia, Pullmantur Air
8 Template:Flagicon Caracas, Venezuela 411,217 Air Europa, Iberia, Vision Airlines
9 Template:Flagicon Havana, Cuba 370,952 Air Europa, Cubana de Aviación
10 Template:Flagicon Santiago, Chile 350,007 Iberia, LAN Airlines
11 Template:Flagicon Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 339,446 Air Europa, Pullmantur Air
12 Template:Flagicon Istanbul (Atatürk), Turkey 313,732 Turkish Airlines
13 Template:Flagicon Tel Aviv, Israel 308,785 El Al, Iberia
14 Template:Flagicon Dubai, United Arab Emirates 301,618 Emirates
15 Template:Flagicon Cancún, Mexico 271,564 Air Europa, Orbest Orizonia Airlines, Pullmantur Air
16 Template:Flagicon Guayaquil, Ecuador 257,695 Iberia, LAN Ecuador
17 Template:Flagicon Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 205,266 Air Europa, Orbest Orizonia Airlines, Pullmantur Air
18 Template:Flagicon San José,Costa Rica 199,095 Iberia
19 Template:Flagicon Marrakesh, Morocco 192,427 Air Nostrum, Ryanair
20 Template:Flagicon Moscow (Domodedovo) 189,337 Iberia, S7 Airlines, Transaero
21 Template:Flagicon Casablanca, Morocco 187,429 Iberia, Royal Air Maroc
22 Template:Flagicon Doha, Qatar 186,899 Qatar Airways
23 Template:Flagicon Chicago (O'Hare), United States 179,034 Iberia
24 Template:Flagicon Tangier, Morocco 167,511 Air Arabia Maroc, Air Nostrum, Royal Air Maroc, Ryanair
25 Template:Flagicon Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 162,320 Iberia

Ground transport

File:APM Madrid airport.JPG
Shuttle train that links Terminal 4 with its satellite


The Madrid Metro Line connects the airport with city centre station Nuevos Ministerios in the heart of Madrid's financial district. The Barajas Line 8 Line 8 provides a fast route from the underground stations at Terminal 2 (access to T1 and T3) and Terminal 4 into central Madrid. The metro also provides links to stations on the Spanish railway network. The first ride in the morning leaves from Nuevos Ministerios around 6:05 am, arriving at Terminals 1-2-3 around 6:20, and at Terminal 4 around 6:25.

In October 2006, a bid was launched for the construction of a Cercanías link between Chamartín Station and Terminal 4. Now finished, this single Cercanías Line (C-1) links Madrid Barajas Terminal 4, with Chamartín Station and Atocha AVE high-speed train stations. In June 2011 a decision was made to equip this link with dual gauge which will allow AVE high-speed trains to reach the airport station.

The Nuevos Ministerios metro station allowed checking-in<ref name="Vía Libre">Inaugurado el intercambiador de Nuevos Ministerios en Madrid con servicio directo de metro al aeropuerto, Vía Libre, N° 454, June 2002</ref> right by the AZCA business area in central Madrid, but this convenience has been suspended indefinitely after the building of Terminal 4.<ref name="ABC SEPLA">Las aerolíneas descartan retomar la facturación en Nuevos Ministerios, ABC, 24 July 2007 (copy hosted by SEPLA).</ref>


EMT (Madrid Municipal Transport Company) runs regular public bus services between the airport and Madrid (Avenida de América station): bus 200 runs as a complete line – dropping passengers off at departures of terminals 1, 2 and 4 before collecting passengers in the reverse order at arrivals. The EMT public night bus service N4 (nicknamed "Buho", Owl) also services from Madrid downtown (Plaza Cibeles) to Barajas (Plaza de los Hermanos Falcó y Alvarez de Toledo, 400m from the airport through a passageway above the highway). EMT also have an express bus linking Barajas airport to Renfe's Atocha Station, the main rail station in Madrid, during day and Plaza Cibeles during night. Unlike the two services mentioned above, this line runs 24 hours of the day during all the days of the year.

Airport parking

Long- and short-term car parking is provided at the airport with seven public parking areas. P1 is an outdoor car park located in front of the terminal building; P2 is an indoor car park with direct access to terminals T2 and T3. A Parking 'Express' facility, available for short periods only, is located at Terminal 2, and dedicated long-term parking is also available with 1,655 spaces; a free shuttle operates between the long-stay car park and all terminals. There are also VIP car parks.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 30 September 1972, Douglas C-47B EC-AQE of Spantax crashed on take-off. The aircraft was being used for training duties and the student pilot over-rotated and stalled. One of the six people on board were killed.<ref name=ASN300972>Template:Cite web</ref>
  • On 29 July 1979, as part of a triple attack, a bomb placed by ETA political-military killed three people.<ref name="LV1">La Vanguardia, 31 July 1979, pp. 3–4, accessed 29 April 2012</ref>
  • On 27 November 1983, Avianca Flight 011 crashed while attempting to land. Flight 011 struck a series of hills, causing the plane's right wing to break off. The 747 then cartwheeled, shattering into five pieces before coming to rest upside-down. Only 11 of the 169 passengers survived – there were no survivors among the 23 crew.
  • On 7 December 1983, an Iberia 727 operating as Iberia Flight 350 collided during takeoff with Aviaco Flight 134, a DC-9 The Aviaco DC9 had accidentally entered the runway as the Iberia flight was taking off. One hundred thirty-five people were killed, including 93 from the Iberia and 42 from the Aviaco.
  • On 15 July 2006, the winglet of a Thai Airways International Boeing 747-400 HS-TGY operating flight TG943 from Madrid Barajas Airport in Spain to Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport cut off the tail of an Air France ERJ-145 while taxiing to the runway for take-off. No injuries were reported.
  • On the morning of 30 December 2006, an explosion took place in the carpark building module D attached to Terminal 4. A bomb threat was phoned in at approximately 8:15 local time (7:15 GMT), with the caller stating that a car bomb carried with 800 kg of explosive would explode at 9:00 local time (8:00 GMT).<ref name="reuters main">Template:Cite news Template:Dead link</ref> After receipt of the warning, police were able to evacuate part of the airport.<ref name="CNN">Template:Cite news</ref> Later, an anonymous caller stated that ETA claims responsibility for the bombing.<ref name="ETAClaim">Template:Cite news</ref> As a result of the explosion, two Ecuadorians who were sleeping in their cars died. The whole module D of the car park was levelled to the ground, around 40,000 tonnes of debris. It took six days to recover the body of the second victim from the rubble.


  • On 20 August 2008, Spanair Flight 5022 which was travelling to Gran Canaria, veered off to the right and into the ground while climbing immediately after lifting off from runway 36L at 14:45 local time. The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) MD-82 with registration "EC-HFP", was carrying 172 people, including 162 passengers. In the accident, 154 people were killed, two were seriously injured and 12 were slightly injured. Prime Minister Zapatero ordered three days of national mourning.
  • On 3 December 2010, during the Spanish air traffic controllers strike, Madrid–Barajas Airport remained inoperative when all Spanish air traffic controllers walked out in a coordinated wildcat strike. Following the walkout, the Spanish Government authorized the Spanish military to take over air traffic control operations.<ref name="theguardian1">

Template:Cite web </ref> On the morning of 4 December, the government declared a "State of Alert", ordering on the controllers back to work. Shortly after the measure was implemented, controllers started returning to work and the strike was called off.<ref name="telegraph1"> Template:Cite web </ref>


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External links

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