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Madrid-Barajas Airport
Aeropuerto de Madrid-Barajas
MAD-LEMD T4 Satélite.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Aena
Serves Madrid, Spain
Location Madrid, Spain
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 610 m / 2,000 ft
Coordinates 40°28′20″N 003°33′39″W / 40.47222°N 3.56083°W / 40.47222; -3.56083 (Madrid-Barajas Airport)Coordinates: 40°28′20″N 003°33′39″W / 40.47222°N 3.56083°W / 40.47222; -3.56083 (Madrid-Barajas Airport)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
15R/33L 4,220 13,845 Asphalt
18L/36R 3,620 11,877 Asphalt
15L/33R 3,620 11,877 Asphalt
18R/36L 4,470 14,665 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Passengers 48,270,581
Aircraft movements 435,179
Source: Spanish AIP at EUROCONTROL,[1] AENA Statistics[2]

Madrid-Barajas Airport (IATA: MAD[3]ICAO: LEMD) is the main international airport serving Madrid in Spain. It is the country's largest and busiest airport, the world's 11th busiest airport (2008) [4] and Europe's fourth. 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 9 km (5.6 mi) from the city's financial district and 13 km (8.1 mi) 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) or "Pont Aeri" (in Catalan), literally "Air Bridge", is the world's busiest route, with the highest number of flight operations (971 per week) in 2007.[5] The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when a 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[6]

In 2009, nearly 48.3 million passengers used Barajas, a 5.1% reduction compared with 2008.[2]



Barajas Terminal 4
Departures-Terminal 4

The airport was first 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 1400 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 reforms to the airport, with the expansion and reform of the 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, 71m 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), 4,400m 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 50 million passengers.

Barajas today

Terminal 4 houses all Iberia flights and all Oneworld alliance member airlines including British Airways, American Airlines, LAN Airlines, among others. Terminals T1, T2, and T3 handle Air Europa and Spanair, as well as all member airlines of Skyteam and Star Alliance.

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)[7] was built by Ferrovial[8] and inaugurated on February 5, 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, available by glass panes instead of walls and numerous domes in the roof which allow natural light to pass through. With the 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 February 5, 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 Airlines, 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[9]

Terminal 4 check in hall in 2008

Terminals, airlines and destinations

Terminal 1
Terminal 2
Terminal 3
Small control tower in Terminal 4
Iberia airplanes in Terminal 4
Terminal 4 at night
T4 - Upper level to check-in, lower levels to Arrivals and metro station)
Terminal 4 overview with Madrid city in the background
The main control tower in Terminal 4
Traffic on Runway 36L with Terminal 4 in the background
Shuttle train that links Terminal 4 with its satellite
Airlines Destinations Terminal
Adria Airways Ljubljana [resumes 22 April][10] 2
Aegean Airlines Athens 1
Aer Lingus Dublin, Washington-Dulles [begins 29 March] 1
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo 4
Aerolineas Argentinas Buenos Aires-Ezeiza 1
Aeroméxico Mexico City 1
Aerosur Santa Cruz de la Sierra 1
Air Algérie Algiers 4
airBaltic Riga [begins 2 June] 2
Air Berlin Palma de Mallorca 2
Air Canada Toronto-Pearson [seasonal] 1
Air China Beijing-Capital, São Paulo-Guarulhos 1
Air Europa Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cancun, Caracas, Dakar, Havana, Lima, Marrakech, Miami [begins 19 March], Montego Bay [seasonal], New York–JFK, Punta Cana, Salvador da Bahia [ends 30 April], Santo Domingo, Tunis 1
Air Europa Athens [begins 4 July], Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lisbon, London-Gatwick, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Orly, Rome-Fiumicino, Tenerife-North, Tenerife-South, Venice-Marco Polo, Vigo 2
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle 2
Air France operated by Brit Air Lyon 2
Air Mali Bamako 1
Air Malta Malta [seasonal] 2
Air Mauritius Mauritius [seasonal] 1
Air Moldova Chisinau 1
Air Transat Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver [begins 20 June] [all seasonal] 1
Alitalia Milan-Linate, Rome-Fiumicino 2
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–JFK [begins 2 May] 4
Ándalus Líneas Aéreas Almería, Gibraltar, San Sebastian [begins 29 March] 3
Atlas Blue Marrakech, Tétouan [begins 6 July] 4
Avianca Bogotá, Cali 4
Blue Air Bucharest-Baneasa, Sibiu 1
British Airways London-Heathrow 4
British Airways operated by BA CityFlyer London-City 4
Brussels Airlines Brussels 2
Bulgaria Air Sofia 4
Continental Airlines Newark 1
Cubana de Aviación Havana, Santiago de Cuba 1
Czech Airlines Prague 4
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York–JFK 1
EasyJet Amsterdam, Berlin-Schönefeld, Bristol, Bucharest-Henri Coanda, Casablanca, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Lyon, Marrakech, Milan-Malpensa, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Ciampino, Rome-Fiumicino, Sofia, Tangier, Toulouse 1
EasyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva 1
EgyptAir Cairo, Luxor 1
Emirates Dubai [begins 1 August] [11] 1
El Al Tel Aviv 4
Finnair Helsinki 4
Germanwings Cologne/Bonn [begins 28 March], Stuttgart 1
Iberia A Coruña, Algiers, Alicante, Amman [begins 3 July; seasonal], Amsterdam, Asturias, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin-Tegel, Bilbao, Bogotá, Bologna, Boston, Brussels, Bucharest-Henri Coanda, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cairo, Caracas, Casablanca, Chicago-O'Hare, Copenhagen, Dakar, Damascus [resumes 13 July; seasonal], Dublin, Düsseldorf, Dubrovnik [begins 20 June; seasonal], Frankfurt, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Granada, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, Havana, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jerez de la Frontera, Johannesburg, Lagos, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lima, Lisbon, London-Heathrow, Malabo, Malaga, Marrakech, Mexico City, Miami, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Montevideo, Moscow-Domodedovo, Munich, New York–JFK, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Panama City, Paris-Orly, Prague, Quito, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, Rome-Fiumicino, St Petersburg [resumes 1 June; seasonal], San José de Costa Rica, San Juan, San Sebastián, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Compostela, Santo Domingo, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Seville, Stockholm-Arlanda, Tangier, Tel Aviv, Tenerife-North, Tenerife-South, Valencia, Venice-Marco Polo, Vienna, Vigo, Warsaw, Washington-Dulles [seasonal], Zagreb [resumes 3 July; seasonal], Zürich 4
Iberia operated by Air Nostrum Almería, Badajoz, Bologna, Bordeaux, Cagliari [seasonal], Catania [seasonal], Corfu [seasonal], Genoa, Huesca, Ibiza, Kraków, Leon, Logroño, Lyon, Malta [seasonal], Marseilles, Melilla, Minorca, Montpellier, Murcia, Nantes, Naples, Nice, Olbia [seasonal], Pamplona, Pisa, Porto, San Sebastián, Santander, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Vitoria, Zaragoza 4
Iberworld Aswan, Cancun, Luxor, Malaga, Punta Cana 4
Icelandair Reykjavik-Keflavik [resumes 24 July] 1
KLM Amsterdam 2
Korean Air Amsterdam, Seoul-Incheon 1
LAN Airlines Frankfurt, Santiago de Chile 4
LAN Ecuador Guayaquil, Quito 4
LAN Perú Lima 4
Libyan Airlines Tripoli 1
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw 1
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Hamburg [begins 28 March], Milan-Malpensa, Munich 1
Lufthansa Regional operated by Lufthansa CityLine Düsseldorf, Hamburg [ends 27 March], Munich 1
Luxair Luxembourg 4
Malév Hungarian Airlines Budapest 4
Meridiana Florence 1
Mexicana Mexico City 4
Qatar Airways Doha 1
Rossiya Airlines Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Saint Petersburg [seasonal] 1
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca 4
Royal Jordanian Amman 4
Ryanair Alghero, Alicante, Almería, Bologna, Brussels South-Charleroi, Cagliari, Dublin, Eindhoven, Fez, Girona, Granada [ends 4 May], Hahn, Jerez de la Frontera, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Malta, Marrakech, Marseilles, Milan-Orio al Serio, Nador, Oslo-Rygge, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Beauvais, Pisa [begins 6 April], Porto, Rome-Ciampino, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Tangier, Tenerife-South, Trapani, Turin [begins 1 April], Valencia 1
S7 Airlines Moscow-Domodedovo 4
Santa Bárbara Airlines Caracas 1
Saudi Arabian Airlines Jeddah, Riyadh 1
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen 2
Spanair Banjul [ends 27 March] 1
Spanair A Coruña, Alicante, Barcelona, Belgrade [begins 28 May], Bilbao, Birmingham [begins 25 May], Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Málaga, Minorca, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela, Tenerife-North, Tenerife-South, Valencia 2
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich 1
Syrian Air Damascus 4
TAM Airlines São Paulo-Guarulhos 1
TAP Portugal Lisbon 2
TAP operated by Portugalia Airlines Lisbon, Porto 2
TAROM Bucharest-Henri Coanda, Cluj-Napoca 4
Thai Airways International Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi 1
Travel Service Airlines operated by Smart Wings[12] Prague 1
Tunisair Tozeur, Tunis 1
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk 1
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil, Lviv 4
US Airways Philadelphia 1
Vueling Airlines Barcelona, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lisbon, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Tenerife-North, Venice-Marco Polo 4
Wizz Air Bucharest-Băneasa, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca, Prague, Katowice, Sofia [begins 22 May], Timişoara [begins 3 May], Warsaw [begins 24 April] 1

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
DHL Aviation Miami, Copenhagen, Beijing-Capital
FedEx Express Paris-CDG, Washington-Dulles
Gestair Cargo Maastricht-Aachen
TNT Airways Brussels
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Ataturk
UPS Airlines London-Stansted, Chicago-O'Hare

Ground transport



The Madrid Metro Line connects the airport with Madrid’s 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 Nuevos Ministerios metro station allowed checking-in[13] right by the AZCA business area in central Madrid, but this convenience has been suspended indefinitely after the building of Terminal 4[14]. In October 2006 a bid was launched for the construction of a Cercanías link between Chamartín Station and Terminal 4. When finished in 2009, a single Cercanías Line will link Madrid Barajas Terminal 4, with Chamartín Station and Atocha AVE high-speed train stations[15].


EMT (Madrid Municipal Transport Company) runs regular public bus services between the airport and Madrid (Avenida de América station): bus 200 stops outside the baggage reclaim area of terminals 1 and 2, while bus 204 stops outside Arrivals at Terminal 4. Several intercity bus services also call at the airport.

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 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.[16]
  • On 7 December 1983, Iberia Airlines 727 Flight 350 [1] collided during takeoff with Aviaco DC9 Flight 134. [2] The Aviaco DC9 had accidentally entered the runway as the Iberia flight was taking off.Madrid-Barajas Airport disaster [3] 135 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 Bangkok Don Muang Airport cut off the tail of an Air France ERJ-145 while taxing 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).[17] After receipt of the warning, police were able to evacuate part of the airport.[18] Later, an anonymous caller stated that ETA claims responsibility for the bombing.[19] 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 JKK 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[20]. In the accident 154 people were killed, 2 were seriously injured and 12 were slightly injured. Prime Minister Zapatero ordered 3 days of national mourning.[21]


  1. ^ EAD Basic
  2. ^ a b AENA passenger and aircraft movements for 2009
  3. ^ Accident history for MAD at Aviation Safety Network
  4. ^ ACI passenger statistics for 2007
  5. ^ OAG reveals latest industry intelligence on the busiest routes
  6. ^ . Madrid also serves as a hub for Air Europa, Vueling, Ryanair and EasyJet and is a focus city for Spanair.OAG data
  7. ^ TPS expertise recognised at Madrid Terminal 4
  8. ^ Ferrovial history
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Inaugurado el intercambiador de Nuevos Ministerios en Madrid con servicio directo de metro al aeropuerto, Vía Libre, N° 454, June 2002
  14. ^ Las aerolíneas descartan retomar la facturación en Nuevos Ministerios, ABC, 24 July 2007 (copy hosted by SEPLA).
  15. ^ Fomento
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Explosion hits parking lot at Madrid airport". Reuters. 2006-12-30. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  18. ^ "Madrid bomb shatters ETA cease-fire". Reuters. 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  19. ^ Webb, Jason; Sanz, Inmaculada (2006-12-30). "Four hurt in Madrid airport bomb, ETA claims attack". Reuters. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  20. ^
  21. ^

External links


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