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Málaga Airport
Aeropuerto de Málaga
Malaga aeropuerto.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Aena
Serves Costa del Sol
Location Málaga, Spain
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 16 m / 52 ft
Coordinates 36°40′30″N 004°29′57″W / 36.675°N 4.49917°W / 36.675; -4.49917 (Málaga Airport)Coordinates: 36°40′30″N 004°29′57″W / 36.675°N 4.49917°W / 36.675; -4.49917 (Málaga Airport)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13/31 3,200 10,500 Asphalt
12/30 2,750 9,020 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Passengers 11,622,443
Pass. growth 08-09 -9.3%
Source: AENA[1]

Málaga Airport (IATA: AGPICAO: LEMG), also known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport,[2] is the fourth busiest airport in Spain[1] after Madrid Barajas, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca and also the main international airport for the Costa Del Sol. It is 8 km (5.0 mi) southwest[3] of Málaga and 5 km (3.1 mi) north of Torremolinos. The airport has flight connections to over 60 countries worldwide, and 11,622,443 passengers passed through it in 2009.[4] The airport currently operates with three terminals. The third terminal adjacent to the previous two opened 16 March 2010.[5] A second runway is expected to open at the end of 2010.[6]

Málaga Airport is the international airport of Andalucia accounting for 85 percent of its international traffic and is the only one offering a wide variety of international destinations. The airport, connected to the Costa Del Sol, has a daily link with twenty cities in Spain and over one hundred cities in Europe. Direct flights also operate to Africa, the Middle East and North America. In 2009 Málaga was the 33rd busiest airport in Europe.[citation needed]


History and development

Málaga Airport is one of the oldest Spanish airport that has stayed in its original location.

Control Tower at Málaga Airport, built in 2002
Málaga Airport in the early 2000's

Málaga Airport itself opened on the 9 March 1919. After test flights, the first scheduled air service from Málaga began on the 1 September 1919 when Didier Daurat began regular flights between Toulouse, Barcelona, Alicante, Tangier and Casablanca.[7]

In 1937, Málaga Airport became a military base. Training academies for the Air Force were set up, under the command of Republican Don Abelardo Moreno Miró.

On 12 July 1946, the airport was opened to international civil passenger flights, and was classified as a custom post.

The single runway was extended in the 1960s, and a new terminal was erected in the centre of the site. During this period of development, new navigational equipment was installed, including radar system at the end of the decade, in 1970.

Having been known by various names throughout its history, Málaga Airport was officially given its current title in 1965. Three years later, in 1968, a new passenger terminal was opened. In 1972 a second passenger terminal was opened to cater specifically for non-scheduled traffic. An increase in companies offering package holidays (around 30 by 1965) meant that this type of traffic was providing an increasing proportion of the airport's business. The terminal was very similar to the ones that were built in Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Ibiza and Girona

In 1995, the old passenger building was converted into a general aviation terminal, and a new hangar for large aircraft maintenance was built to the north of the airport site. Also constructed was a terminal specifically catering for cargo traffic a year later, along with a hanger for maintenance of big aircraft.

In 1997, a new enlargement of the parking of ates was built and fuel systems were added at all the gates. Today, these can be seen from an airbridge which the plane is attached to.

In November 2002, a brand new control tower was built to help improve air traffic control. It has a height of 54m.[8] It has all of the latest technology systems.

In 2004, plans started for the Málaga PLan. This plan had ideas for construction of a brand new terminal, and a new runway. This was because the airport was continuously getting large numbers of passengers.

On 16 March 2010, the brand new Terminal 3 was completed and opened to the public. It was opened by King Juan Carlos of Spain and is expected to double flight and passenger capacity.


Málaga Airport has three Terminals. They are all adjacent to each other. There is also a General Aviation Terminal and a Cargo Terminal. The Terminals have 164 check-in desks altogether and have 48 boarding gates altogether of which 26 have airbridges.


Terminal 1

Terminal 1 (styled as T1) used to be used for flights to non-Schengen destinations, along with flights to Ceuta and Mellila. On 16 March 2010, flights to non-Schengen destinations moved to Terminal 2 and flights to Ceuta and Mellila moved to Terminal 3, leaving Terminal 1 operating no flights whatsoever. However, the airline still check in their luggage there, but this will be dropped at the end of March 2010. It opened on 30 June 1972. There are four gates, numbered B32, B34, B36 and B38, of which can also be accessed from Terminal 2.

Terminal 1 is due to close at the end of March 2010.[9] This is because hardly any flights will use it.

View of Pier B

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 (styled as T2) was opened in November 1991, known as the Pablo Ruiz Picasso terminal. This building was designed by architect Ricardo Bofill, and was built to be operated in combination with the pre-existing passenger terminal. It has three floors and a basement, the second floor is for departures and the ground floor is for arrivals. The first floor is used for the lower level for Pier B, and for alleyways leading to arrivals. The basement is for the Rent-A-Car pickup desks. To complete the terminal, a building was built for car parking and Rent-A-Car, which were built right next to the entrance of the Departures and Arrivals lounges.[10]

Terminal 2 departures lounge

It consists of two piers: Pier B (with 13 gates, 7 with airbridges) and Pier C (with 11 gates, 7 with airbridges). The Terminal was used for flights within the Schengen zone. On 16 March 2010, flights to Schengen destinations moved to Terminal 3, and now the terminal operates non-Schengen destinations instead, along with flights to the UK and Ireland. Pier B is used for International traffic and Pier C is used by European Traffic. Flights to the UK and Ireland continue their operations in Terminal 2. Instead of using Pier C however, they now use both Pier B and Pier C

Pier B was used for flights to Mainland Europe and the rest of the world while Pier C was used for flights to the UK and Ireland, however some flights destined for the UK and Ireland occasionally used Pier B. The flights to mainland Europe did not apply to Blue Air, as they left from Pier C.

Development work was completed on the Terminal in 2008. The original structure leading to Pier C in departures was demolished and relocated, to allow building work for Terminal 3.

Terminal 2 is due for a massive renovation once the new terminal has opened, costing 2,567,700 euros.[11]

Terminal 3

Terminal 3 (styled as T3) is a brand new Terminal at Málaga Airport. Plans for construction started in 2001 and construction started in 2004. It was expected to open in 2008 but it was delayed to 2009. it was then delayed again and the workers said it would definitely open around Easter 2010. The date was confirmed being the 15 March 2010 to be opened, and the 16 March 2010 for flight operations. It was opened by King Juan Carlos of Spain along with five hundred guests which were invited to the ceremony, including president of Andalucia José Antonio Griñán.[12]

In common with the current Terminal 2, it was been designed by Ricardo Bofill. The terminal was built to increase tourism around the Costa Del Sol, and to expand the airport due to increasing number of passengers. The total cost of developing the new terminal is more than 200 million euros. It is adjacent to Terminal 2 and it has an area of 250,000m², which is more than double the size of Terminal 2. It has 86 check in counters, numbered 301 to 386, 20 new boarding gates, twelve of which will have airbridges and 12 baggage reclaim carousels, nine European Union, two non-European Union and one special baggage reclaim carousel. It also has the largest food hall in Europe and the first National Geographic Store in the world.[13] The shops also include a Starbucks, a Burger King with a Whopper Bar in, a Pizza Hut and an Adidas shop.[14] The Terminal is expected to double the number of flights and the 12,813,764 passengers handled during 2008, and this will increase more when the new runway is complete.

Terminal 3 is used for flights to Schengen destinations. However, flights to the UK and Ireland will continue to run their operations from Terminal 2.

Although flights from Terminal 1 were bound for non-Schengen destinations, along with flights to Ceuta and Mellia, some airlines such as Luxair ocassionaly left from Terminal 1, using their Embraer and Bombardier. Usually the Small Embraer planes use Terminal 1 because the airbridges in Terminal 2 are too big for them. This used to operate in Terminal 2 and Now operates in Terminal 3. They don't use Terminal 1 or 2 anymre, and now the aircraft depart from gates with a bus transfer, as the gates are still too big for the aircraft. This does not apply to Flybe as it only applies to airlines that use Terminal 3

Some videos on all the information on the new terminal is available on, and[15] [16]

General Aviation Terminal

The General Aviation Terminal at Málaga Airport (also known as the Private Aviation Terminal) is located next to the N-340 motorway, and right close by to Runway 31. The Terminal is used for private jets. The terminal was formed from the old passenger terminal building, and has since been renewed and refurbished. It was opened on the 29th January 1968.

Cargo Terminal

The Cargo terminal was opened in 1996 and has 16 docking bays for road transports veichles.[17] It has an area of 5,700 m2 and contains four cold storage rooms, a vault for valuable merchandise, and an area for hazardous and radioactive materials.[18] It is located in the north of the airport, named "Carga Aena" in Spanish.[19]

Airlines and destinations

A Monarch Airlines Airbus A321 parked at gate C36 (Formerly Gate C46)
A Boeing 737-300 parked at gate C38 (Formerly Gate C50)
A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 parked at gate C35 (Formerly Gate C48)
A Monarch Airlines A321 (G-OZBN) at gate C36 (Formerly Gate C46) shortly after arriving from Manchester
An Aer Lingus Airbus A320 Being pushed back

Terminal 2 is for non-Schengen destinations along with flights to the UK and Ireland and Terminal 3 is used for Schengen destinations.

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Adria Airways Ljubljana 3
Aer Lingus Belfast-International, Cork, Dublin, London-Gatwick 2
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo 2
AirBaltic Riga, Vilnius 3
Air Berlin Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt [begins 27 March], Hamburg, Hanover, Münster/Osnabrück [seasonal], Munich, Nuremberg [seasonal], Palma de Mallorca, Stuttgart, Zürich [begins 26 March, seasonal] 3
Air Europa Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tenerife-North 3
Air Finland Helsinki 3
Air France operated by Régional Bordeaux [begins 10 April] 3
Air Transat Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson [both seasonal] 2
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino [resumes 28 March] 3
Ándalus Líneas Aéreas Casablanca [begins 28 March], Lisbon [begins 28 March], Marrakech, Nador, Tangier 2
Arkefly Amsterdam 3
Austrian Airlines Vienna [seasonal] 3
Austrian Airlines operated by Lauda Air Vienna [seasonal] 3
Blue Air Bucharest-Baneasa 2
Bmibaby Birmingham, Cardiff, East Midlands 2
British Airways London-Gatwick [resumes 26 June], London-Heathrow 2
Brussels Airlines Brussels 3
Bulgaria Air Sofia 2
Cimber Sterling Aalborg, Billund, Copenhagen 3
City Airline Gothenburg-Landvetter [begins 29 March] 3
Condor Frankfurt, Munich 3
Delta Air Lines New York-JFK [seasonal] 3
EasyJet Belfast-International, Bristol, Glasgow-International, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne 2
EasyJet Berlin-Schönefeld, Milan-Malpensa, Paris-Charles de Gaulle [begins 14 May] 3
EasyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva 3
Europe Airpost Paris-Charles de Gaulle 3
Finnair Helsinki 3
Flybe Exeter, Southampton, Humberside [seasonal, begins 29 May] 2
Gazpromavia St Petersburg 3
Germanwings Stuttgart 3
Hamburg International Klagenfurt 3
Iberia Madrid 3
Iberia operated by Air Nostrum Asturias, Casablanca, Ibiza, Melilla, Santander, Tangier [seasonal], Valencia 3
Iberworld Barcelona, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela 3
ItAli Airlines Milan-Malpensa 3 Blackpool [seasonal], Leeds/Bradford, Manchester [seasonal], Newcastle upon Tyne [seasonal] 2
Jetairfly Brussels, Liége 3
Jettime Billund, Copenhagen, Gothenburg-City 3
Kuwait Airways Kuwait [seasonal] 2
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw 3
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich 3
Luxair Luxembourg 3
Malév Hungarian Airlines Budapest 3
Meridiana operated by Eurofly Milan-Malpensa 3
Monarch Airlines (Charter) Birmingham [seasonal], Dublin [begins 1 May], London-Gatwick [seasonal], London-Luton [seasonal] 2
Monarch Airlines (Scheduled) Birmingham, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester 2
Niki Vienna [seasonal] 3
Norwegian Air Shuttle Aalborg, Bergen, Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Rygge, Stavanger, Stockholm-Arlanda, Trondheim, Warsaw 3
Onur Air Antalya 3
Primera Air Dublin 2
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca [begins 20 June] 2
Ryanair Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cork [begins 2 June; seasonal], Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow-Prestwick, Leeds/Bradford [begins 25 March], Liverpool, London-Stansted, Shannon 2
Ryanair Aarhus [begins 23 June], Berlin-Schönefeld [begins 25 June], Bologna [begins 29 March], Bratislava [begins 23 June], Gothenburg-City [begins 25 June], Hahn, Krakow [begins 24 June], Bremen, Brussels South-Charleroi, Eindhoven [begins 22 June], Girona, Maastricht [begins 22 June], Marseille, Memmingen [begins 24 June], Milan-Orio al Serio, Oslo-Rygge [begins 20 March], Oslo-Torp [begins 23 June], Paris-Beauvais [begins 23 June], Pisa [begins 24 June], Santander [begins 24 June], Santiago de Compostela [begins 23 June], Stockholm-Skavsta [begins 24 June], Tampere [begins 25 June], Valladolid [begins 23 June], Valencia [begins June], Venice-Treviso [begins 24 June], Weeze, Wroclaw [begins 25 June], Zaragoza [begins 24 June] 3
Saudi Arabian Airlines Jeddah, Riyadh [both seasonal] 2
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen [seasonal], Stockholm-Arlanda 3
Spanair Barcelona, Bilbao, Copenhagen, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madrid, Marrakech [begins 14 April], Tangier [begins 14 April], Tenerife-South, Venice-Marco Polo [begins 26 May] 3
Swiftair Asturias, Barcelona, Madrid, Zaragoza 3
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich 3
Swiss operated by Swiss European Air Lines Geneva 3
Sun d'Or International Airlines Tel Aviv 3
TAP Portugal operated by Portugália Lisbon 3
Thomas Cook Airlines Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Glasgow-International, Leeds/Bradford, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne [seasonal] 2
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Brussels 3
Thomson Airways Belfast-International [seasonal], Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol [begins 21 March, seasonal], Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, Dublin [begins 2 May; seasonal], East Midlands, Glasgow-International [seasonal], London-Gatwick, London-Luton [seasonal], Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne 2
Titan Airways Belfast 2
Transaero Airlines Moscow-Domodedovo 2
Transavia Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Maastricht [begins 6 May], Rotterdam 3
Transavia Denmark Copenhagen 3
Travel Service Airlines operated by Smart Wings Brno, Ostrava [seasonal] 3
Vueling Airlines Amsterdam [seasonal], Barcelona, Bilbao, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Paris-Orly, Rome-Fiumicino, Santiago de Compostela, Tenerife North 3
XL Airways France Paris-Charles de Gaulle 3

There is also helicopter services to Ceuta which also leave from Terminal 3.

Although they are Terminal 2, passengers flying with check in their luggage in Terminal 1 until the end of March 2010.[20] Also EasyJet, EasyJet Switzerland, Iberworld and Ryanair check in at Terminal 2, including flights to Terminal 3. The same applies to British Airways and Primera Air, but vice versa.

Other Plans, Works and Developments

New Runway

Not just the new terminal is being constructed for the expansion of Málaga Airport. Other plans are also being constructed to help improve the airport. A new runway is due to open at the end of 2010. It will be located on the other side of the Terminal where the current runway is, and will be in the direction of 12/30.[21]

New Car Park

A new car park has been built and will be used at the Airport. It will have seven floors with 2,500 parking spaces along with some underground parking for 66 coaches.[22] A long stay car park is also expected to open in mid 2010.[23]


Passenger numbers increased consistently between 1995 when the airport was used by around 6 million passengers, to nearly 13.6 million passengers in 2007, dropping to 12.8 million in 2008. There was a further 9.3% reduction in 2009 with passenger numbers falling to around 11.6 million and the number of aircraft movements reducing by 13.6% to 103,536.[1]

Passengers Operations Cargo
2000 9,443,872
2001 9,932,975 98,174
2002 10,429,439 101,519
2003 11,566,616 110,220
2004 12,046,277 116,047
2005 12,669,019 123,959
2006 13,076,252 127,776
2007 13,590,803 129,698
2008 12,813,472 119,821
2009 11,622,443 103,536 3,400
Source: Aena Statistics [1]

The busiest routes are those within the EU, particularly to and from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Acording to Aena The buisiest route was to London Gatwick closely followed by Manchester and Dublin.[24] Other close routes were to London Luton, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Brussels

The airport is also used by many people visiting Gibraltar, since more airlines cover this airport than Gibraltar Airport.[citation needed] However Gibraltar Airport is also getting a major expansion.[25]

Ground transport

Málaga airport is well-served by public transport, with Cercanías Málaga train directly serving the airport from Málaga city centre and Fuengirola, an airport coach linking to Marbella bus station.

Málaga airport is currently upgrading its infrastructure with the inauguration of the 2nd runway and an underground station for the suburban trains, connecting it with Málaga and providing this way better communications with the city center[26]

Incidents and Accidents

  • 13th September 1964 - A Balair Fokker F-27 (Registration HB-AAI) was approaching the runway too high, and the pilot did a steep decent and the plane landed heavily, causing part of a wing to fall off. No fatalities occurred. The aircraft had to be scrapped, however.[27]
  • 20th December 1970 - A Sobelair Douglas DC-6B (Registration OO-CTL) had to return to Málaga due to severe weather at the aircraft's destination and a hydraulic system failire happened, meaning that they couldn't use the left gear, causing the aircraft to go too far left of the runway once it landed. No fatalities, but the aircraft had to be scrapped.[28]
  • 23rd September 1982 – Spantax Flight BX995 a DC-10-30CF (Registration EC-DEG) was destroyed by fire after an aborted take-off. 50 passengers were killed and 110 passengers were injured due to the flames.[29]
  • 29th August 2001 - A Binter Méditerraneo (Now Air Nostrum) CASA CN-235 (Registration EC-FBC) Was on a flight from Melilla to Málaga. An engine failure happened as it was approaching runway 32 (now runway 31) and the plane descended hitting the first edge lights and stopping right next to the N-340. 4 out of the 47 passengers died. The aircraft was scrapped.[30]
  • 20th July 2008, - A Sterling Airlines Boeing 737-800 (Registration OY-SEB) arrived from Copenhagen and suddenly Tail-Tipped when it arrived at the gate. This was due to a problem with the airbridge that it was attached to. There were no fatalities or injuries, and there didn't seem to be any damage to the aircraft.[31]


See Also

  • Aena (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea)

External links


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