Madrid, Barcelona and Mallorca — the three busiest airports in Spain. However, not all of them are among the top five longest runways in the country.
1. Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas Airport (MAD)
Madrid — perhaps the most famous and important airport in Spain. It was opened for domestic and international flights on April 22, 1931. Serving the Spanish capital and being the hub for most of the country's long-haul flights, Madrid-Barajas in 1944 put the paved runway into operation for the first time. The boom in travel in the 1970s and preparations for the 1982 FIFA World Cup saw the growth of the airport, and today it boasts four runways, the longest being the 18R-36L — 4 350 meters, and the first place in Spain.
2. Ciudad Real International Airport (CMQ)
Located in the autonomous community of Castile, La Mancha, Ciudad Real International Airport (CMQ) opened in 2009 after an investment of 1.1 billion euros. The privately owned airport operated for three years before the company that owned it filed for bankruptcy. In April 2012, after the low-cost airline Vueling suspended service at this airport, bankruptcy proceedings followed. The airport was inactive for seven years before reopening in 2019 despite the lack of scheduled flights. Ciudad Real International Airport (CMQ) has a single runway of 4,000 meters. It is designated as GDP 10/28 and is one of the longest in Europe. Moreover, this runway is designed in such a way that the airport can handle large passenger aircraft, such as the Airbus A380.
3. Zaragoza Airport (ZAZ)
Located in the Autonomous Community of Aragon, 273 km west of Barcelona, Zaragoza Airport (ZAZ) wins the competition for customers due to its excellent road and rail accessibility. Built in the 1950s by Spanish and American engineers, Zaragoza Airport, along with the Torrejon air bases in Madrid and Morón in Seville, served as a staging area for the US and Spanish air forces during the Cold War. The North American Space Agency (NASA) also selected Zaragoza Airport as the emergency landing airport for the Space Shuttle due to its long runway. The longest GDP of Zaragoza — 12R/30L 3 718 meters long.
4. Rota Airport (ROZ)
Almost no one has ever heard of this airport, except perhaps those who served in the Spanish or American Navy. Located on the Gulf of Cadiz, about an hour west of Seville, Rota Airport is part of the Naval Station Rota — joint Spanish-American naval base and air base. At its peak during the Cold War, Rota was home to 16,000 American military personnel and their families. During the Gulf War, Rota was used by the US Air Force as a refueling station for C-5s and C-141s returning from the Middle East. Today, four Aegis-class destroyers and a division of NATO's European Missile Defense System are assigned to the base. The airstrip in Rota, designated VVP 10/28, is 3 690 meters long.
5. Madrid–Torrejon Airport (TOJ)
To the disappointment of those who thought that with the huge number of international flights, Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN) would definitely enter the top -5 airports with the longest GDP in Spain, this did not happen. The longest runway in Barcelona — 07L/25R — has a length of 3 & nbsp; 553 meters, which puts it only in 7th place after the Moron air base in Seville.
But the once former US Air Force base, Madrid Torrejon Airport (TOJ), has now been retrained as Spanish military facility, which is based on a squadron of F-18 fighters. The planes belonging to the Spanish government are also parked here. They are used by the prime minister and the king of the country. Madrid Torrejon Airport also has a civilian section for servicing private executive jets. Longest runway in TOJ — 02/20 — 3 597 meters.