Santiago de Compostela Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Santiago de Compostela Airport
Aeroporto de Santiago de Compostela
Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela - LEST Terminal.jpg
Airport type Public/Military
Operator Aena
Serves Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Location Santiago de Compostela
Focus city for
Built 1932
Elevation AMSL 1,213 ft / 370 m
Coordinates 42°53′47″N 08°24′55″W / 42.89639°N 8.41528°W / 42.89639; -8.41528Coordinates: 42°53′47″N 08°24′55″W / 42.89639°N 8.41528°W / 42.89639; -8.41528
SCQ is located in Province of A Coruña
SCQ is located in Spain
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 10,499 3,200 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passengers 2,510,740
Passenger change 15-16 Increase9.3%
Aircraft Movements 21,227
Movements change 15-16 Increase3.6%
Control tower

Santiago de Compostela Airport (Galician: Aeroporto de Santiago de Compostela, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela) (IATA: SCQICAO: LEST) is an international airport serving the autonomous community and historical region of Galicia in Spain. It is the 2nd busiest airport in northern Spain after Bilbao Airport.

The airport is located in the parish of Lavacolla, 13 km from Santiago de Compostela and handled 2,510,740 passengers in 2016. It is the main focus city of Vueling in the northwest Iberian Peninsula, and Ryanair's only focus city in Northern Spain. The Christian pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago runs near the airport.


The airport was set up by a group of aviation enthusiasts in October 1932 and two months directors were chosen to select where the airport was going to be built; in 1935 construction work started at the airport where two years later on 27 September 1937 the first scheduled flight from Santiago de Compostela took place.[citation needed] After the Spanish Civil war, political prisoners (who were held in the concentration camp of Lavacolla) were forced to work in the construction of the airport.[1]

In 1969 a new terminal was built at the airport, it has had several expansions taking place since it opened.[citation needed] It closed in 2011 following a brand new terminal being built at the airport; in 1981, a cargo terminal was built, giving the airport capacity to handle cargo flights.[2] During the 1990s, the airport had non-stop service to South America operated by Viasa.[3]

On 13 October 2011 a new passenger terminal opened at the airport, replacing the old terminal, opened in 1969 and remodeled in 1993.


The airport currently has one operating terminal, the Old terminal at Santiago de Compostela airport opened in 1969 and had lots of expansions during its lifetime. The terminal closed on the night of 13 October 2011 where operations transferred to the new terminal.

The New terminal at Santiago de Compostela Airport officially opened on 13 October 2011 and passenger operations transferred there the following day, it is adjacent to the old terminal and has a size of 74,000 sq m. It has 22 check-in desks, 3 security checkpoints, 13 gates of which 5 have airbridges and 4 baggage carousels, the baggage hall is split into two zones, one for Schengen flights and one for Non-Schengen. It can handle as much as 4 million passengers per year,[4] the terminal is due to be expanded in the future. This includes adding another 5 airbridges to 5 of the current gates as well as 3 more baggage carousels and an expanded shopping area.[5]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Aer Lingus Seasonal: Dublin
Air Europa Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Menorca, Palma de Mallorca
easyJet Milan–Malpensa
Seasonal: London–Gatwick
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva
Iberia Madrid
Iberia Express Madrid
Iberia Regional
operated by Air Nostrum
Bilbao, Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Madeira, Palma de Mallorca
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Seasonal: Munich
Ryanair Alicante, Barcelona, Bergamo, Gran Canaria, Hahn, Lanzarote, London–Stansted, Madrid, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Tenerife–South, Valencia
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Zürich
Vueling Amsterdam, Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, London–Gatwick (ends March 23, 2018), Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome–Fiumicino, Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Alicante, Brussels, Zürich


During the early 2000s, numbers increased significantly at the airport, from 1.24 million in 2002 to peak at 2.46 million in 2011. Because of the financial crisis in Spain, those numbers decreased to 2.1 million in 2014. Cargo has decreased significantly over the last ten years, the Spanish economic recovery in the mid-2010s and the rise of Santiago de Compostela as an international destination are again increasing passenger numbers, breaking the 2.50 million mark for the first time in 2016.[6]

Traffic figures[edit]

Santiago de Compostela Airport Passenger Totals 2000-2016 (millions)
Updated: 11 January 2017.[6]
Passengers handled Passengers % Change Aircraft movements Aircraft % Change Freight (tonnes) Freight % Change
2000 1,332,893 Steady 19,660 Steady 6,773 Steady
2001 1,281,334 Decrease 3.86% 19,084 Decrease 2.92% 6,228 Decrease 8.04%
2002 1,240,730 Decrease 3.16% 17.362 Decrease 9.02% 5,716 Decrease 8.22%
2003 1,381,826 Increase 11.37% 18,454 Increase 6.28% 5,318 Decrease 6.96%
2004 1,580,675 Increase 14.39% 21,593 Increase 17.00% 4,938 Decrease 7.14%
2005 1,843,118 Increase 16.60% 25,693 Increase 18.98% 3,805 Decrease 22.94%
2006 1,994,519 Increase 8.21% 24,719 Decrease 3.79% 2,587 Decrease 32.01%
2007 2,050,172 Increase 2.79% 24,643 Decrease 0.30% 2,749 Increase 6.26%
2008 1,917,466 Decrease 6.47% 21,945 Decrease 10.94% 2,418 Decrease 12.04%
2009 1,944,068 Increase 1.38% 20,166 Decrease 8.10% 1,988 Decrease 17.78%
2010 2,172,869 Increase 11.76% 21,252 Increase 5.38% 1,964 Decrease 1.20%
2011 2,464,330 Increase 13.41% 22,322 Increase 5.03% 1,787 Decrease 9.01%
2012 2,194,611 Decrease 10.94% 19,511 Decrease 12.59% 1,815 Increase 1.56%
2013 2,073,055 Decrease 5.53% 18,688 Decrease 4.21% 1,929 Increase 6.28%
2014 2,083,873 Increase 0.52% 19,431 Increase 3.97% 2,095 Increase 8.60%
2015 2,296,248 Increase 10.20% 20,540 Increase 5.70% 2,311 Increase 10.10%
2016 2,510,740 Increase 9.30% 21,227 Increase 3.60% 2,936 Decrease 0.60%

Route statistics[edit]

Diagram of the airport
Busiest domestic routes at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2016)[7]
Rank City Passengers  % Change
2015 / 16
1 Community of Madrid Madrid 589.288 Increase 11.98% Iberia Express, Ryanair
2 Catalonia Barcelona 412.584 Increase 2.23% Ryanair, Vueling
3 Balearic Islands Palma de Mallorca 149.158 Increase 23.38% Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Ryanair, Vueling
4 Valencian Community Alicante 116.650 Increase 42.59% Ryanair, Vueling
5 Andalusia Málaga 113.187 Increase 17.25% Ryanair, Vueling
6 Valencian Community Valencia 100.333 Increase 0.17% Ryanair
7 Canary Islands Gran Canaria 91.761 Increase 7.61% Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Ryanair
8 Canary Islands Tenerife (South) 88.621 Decrease 8.29% Air Europa, Ryanair
9 Canary Islands Lanzarote 77.544 Increase 29.69% Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Ryanair, Vueling
10 Andalusia Sevilla 76.091 Increase 9.13% Ryanair

Busiest International routes at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2016)[7]
Rank City Passengers  % Change
2015 / 16
1 Switzerland Geneva 85.938 Decrease 0.86% easyJet Switzerland
2 United Kingdom London (Stansted) 79.028 Increase 5.39% Ryanair
3 United Kingdom London (Gatwick) 50.025 Increase 34.40% easyJet, Vueling
4 Switzerland Basel 44.417 Increase 6.66% easyJet Switzerland
5 France Paris (Charles de Gaulle) 42.938 Increase 12.45% Vueling
6 Germany Frankfurt (Hahn) 39.152 Decrease 7.56% Ryanair
7 Italy Milan (Bergamo) 38.373 Increase 19.27% Ryanair
8 Switzerland Zürich 37.887 Increase 22.40% Swiss, Vueling
9 Republic of Ireland Dublin 31.974 Increase 9.39% Aer Lingus
10 Italy Rome (Fiumicino) 27.697 Decrease 14.50% Vueling

Busiest countries of destination at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2016)[7]
Rank Country Passengers  % Change
2015 / 16
Scheduled Carriers
1 Spain Spain 1.965.826 Increase 15.22% Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia Express, Ryanair, Vueling
2 Switzerland Switzerland 167.527 Increase 5.69% easyJet Switzerland, Swiss, Vueling
3 United Kingdom United Kingdom 131.100 Increase 14.27% easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling
4 Italy Italy 66.305 Increase 2.01% Ryanair, Vueling
5 Germany Germany 53.001 Decrease 15.54% Ryanair, Vueling
6 France France 43.367 Increase 13.52% Vueling
7 Republic of Ireland Ireland 31.974 Increase 9.39% Aer Lingus
8 Netherlands Netherlands 21.675 Increase 34.27% Vueling
9 Belgium Belgium 16.833 Decrease 9.86% Vueling
10 Turkey Turkey 5.239 Decrease 70.52% Turkish Airlines

Busiest Carriers at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2016)[7]
Rank Carriers Passengers  % Change
2015 / 16
1 Republic of Ireland Ryanair 1.081.799 Increase 5.95%
2 Spain Vueling 607.948 Increase 26.25%
3 Spain Iberia Express 345.095 Increase 15.97%
4 Spain Air Europa 140.305 Decrease 4.03%
5 Switzerland easyJet Switzerland 129.593 Increase 1.60%
6 Spain Air Nostrum 74.546 Decrease 7.26%
7 Republic of Ireland Aer Lingus 31.696 Increase 8,87%
8 Spain Evelop Airlines 29.911 Increase 139.26%
9 Switzerland Swiss International Air Lines 23.494 Increase 71.96%
10 United Kingdom easyJet 21.186 Decrease 59.60%

Ground transportation[edit]


The airport is linked with Santiago de Compostela (13 km) by the Autovía A-54. This motorway is currently being extended to Lugo (94.5 km) where it will connect with the Autovía A-6, providing toll-free motorway access to the rest of Spain; and to the French border through the Autovía A-8 that intersects with the Autovía A-6 near Lugo. Nearby Autopista AP-9 connects the airport directly to A Coruña (66 km), Ferrol (88 km), Pontevedra (75 km), Vigo (100 km) and the Portuguese border. Ourense (116 km) is reachable through the Autopista AP-53 that connects with the Autopista AP-9.

There are several major car rental companies at the airport, the airport has more than 5,000 short and long-term covered parking spaces in the new terminal building. In addition, there are several low-cost, long-term private parking facilities around the airport.

Bus services[edit]

A city bus service operated by Empresa Freire every 30 minutes connects the airport with the center of Santiago de Compostela, and the bus and train terminals in the city, from the station in Santiago de Compostela, private coach operators run direct services in a multiple daily basis to most cities and towns in Galicia, including A Coruña, Ferrol, Lugo, Ourense, Pontevedra and Vigo, as well as long-distance services to the rest of Spain, and international services. In addition, three regional services link the airport directly to A Coruña, to Lugo, including several stops in the French Way of the Camino de Santiago, and to the A Mariña coastal area (home to As Catedrais beach) in the province of Lugo.


There are no rail facilities at the airport, however the train station in Santiago de Compostela, located 12 km. away, is connected to the airport by the city bus service every 30 minutes. There are combined available train+bus tickets to and from the airport, the train station in Santiago de Compostela has medium and long-distance high-speed Alvia and AVE services to most cities in Galicia, including A Coruña, Ferrol, Ourense, Pontevedra, Vilagarcía and Vigo; and further to Madrid Chamartín and the rest of Spain.

Foot and Bike[edit]

The Camino de Santiago runs next to the runway of the airport, this is the busiest and final journey in the Camino de Santiago that goes through the famous Monte do Gozo. There are dedicated pathways for both pedestrians and bikers towards the city, the walking distance from the runway to the Cathedral is estimated at 10.90 km.

Accidents and Incidents[edit]

  • On 3 March 1978, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63 operated by Iberia from Madrid–Barajas Airport with 211 passengers and 11 crew members, registration EC-BMX. The aircraft touched down far down the runway after a high approach, aquaplaned off the runway, dropped into a hollow 20m deep and caught fire, the crash was settled with 70 injured people, 10 of them seriously injured, and no fatalities.[8]
  • On 7 June 2001, a Beechcraft B300C Super King Air 350, registration F-GOAE, departed from Le Mans-Arnage Airport (LME), France, to Santiago De Compostela Airport (SCQ), Spain, on a cargo flight according to instrument flight rules. Near the destination airport, the meteorological conditions were reported to be good, and the crew requested a visual approach to runway 17, even though the active runway was 35. Once cleared to land, the aircraft encountered a fog patch and from this moment it began a high ate descent (2000 to 3000 ft/min). A minute after entering an unexpected and unforeseen fog patch, the aircraft struck some trees in level flight and with an airspeed of 148 kt, the wings and engines detached from the fuselage, and they dragged along a scrubland area until they came to a stop. The crew suffered minor injuries and the aircraft was completely destroyed.[9]
  • On 2 August 2012, an Airnor Cessna 500 Citation I, registration EC-IBA, flying from Asturias crashed whilst on approach to the airport with the loss of both crew members.[10]


External links[edit]

Media related to Santiago de Compostela Airport at Wikimedia Commons