Castellon airport in Spain opens for traffic three years after inauguration

12 December 2014 (Last Updated December 12th, 2014 04:39)

An airport in Castellon, Spain, received approval to operate flights more than three years after it was inaugurated in 2011.

Castellon

An airport in Castellon, Spain, received approval to operate flights more than three years after it was inaugurated in 2011.

The country's air safety body AESA has authorised the airport operator SNC-Lavalin to handle flights from this week.

Built by local company Aerocas, the airport was opened in March 2011 without the necessary regulatory approvals or airlines to operate.

According to Spanish newspaper ABC, the airport will begin operations with charter flights and eventually expand to commercials services.

The operators are planning to establish direct links to the airport from London and cities in Ireland.

"We expect to have flights from the next summer season."

The first customers will be the Villareal Football Club using the airport for flying for their matches within Spain and abroad, reported The Local.

SNC-Lavalin spokesman was quoted by AFP as saying: "It can, from now own, handle all flights, private, as well as public.

"We expect to have flights from the next summer season."

SNC-Lavalin expects Castellón to service around 35,000 passengers in 2015 and 200,000 by 2017.

The opening of the €150m Castellón Airport has been deterred in the past in 2012 and 2013. It has courted several controversies, a prominent one related to the president of Aerocas and local politician Carlos Fabra, who has since been jailed for tax frauds.

A statue standing at the entrance of the airport, said to be that of Fabra, reportedly overrun the estimated costs by €127,000 from €300,000.

The runway of the airport had to be dug in 2012, as it was found to be too narrow for airplanes to turn around.

A government report the same year observed that the tourism potential of the region was overestimated while planning an airport in the region.


Image: The statue at the Castellon Airport is said to be that of the controversial developer of the project Carlos Fabra. Photo: courtesy of Sanbec.