Barajas International Airport

Madrid Barajas International Airport

Madrid-Barajas Airport (Aeropuerto de Madrid-Barajas) is the main international airport serving the Spanish capital, Madrid. It opened in 1928, and has grown to be one of the most important aviation centers of Europe. The airport derives its name from the adjacent town of Barajas, which has its own metro station on the same rail line serving the airport. 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. In 2007, more than 52 million passengers used Barajas; it ranks as the world's 10th and Europe's fourth-busiest airport and the biggest one by terminal area in the world. Barajas is the primary hub and maintenance base for Iberia Spanish Airlines. Consequently, Iberia is responsible for more than 60 percent of Barajas' traffic.

The new Terminal 4

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) was built by Ferrovial 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. Consisting of a main building, T4 (470,000 m²), and satellite building, T4S (290,000 m²), which are separated by approximately 2.5 km. Hong Kong International Airport still holds the title for the world's largest single terminal building (Terminal 1) at 570,000 square meter. 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 1.8km) and two on a northwest-southeast axis (and separated by 2.5km). 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.

The Metro Line 8 runs to Terminal 2 (from there you can walk to Terminals 1 and 3) and to Terminal 4. The Nuevos Ministerios metro station allowed checking-in right by the AZCA business area in central Madrid, but this convenience has been suspended indefinitely after the building of Terminal 4. 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 and Atocha AVE high-speed train stations.

Airlines and destinations

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Terminal 1

Terminal 2

  • airberlin (Palma de Mallorca)
  • Air Europa (Domestic and Schengen destinations: Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Lanzarote, La Palma, Malaga, Minorca, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Orly, Rome-Fiumicino, Tenerife-North, Tenerife-South, Venice, Vigo)
  • Air France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
  • Air Moldova (Chişinău)
  • Alitalia (Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino)
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam)
  • Scandinavian Airlines System (Copenhagen, Oslo)
  • Spanair (Domestic and Schengen destinations, except shuttle to Barcelona: Alicante, Almeria, Bilbao, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Fuerteventura, Gerona, Granada, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Jerez, La Coruña, Lanzarote, La Palma, Malaga, Minorca, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Stockholm-Arlanda, Tenerife-North, Tenerife-South, Valencia, Vigo)
  • TAP Portugal (Lisbon, Funchal [seasonal])

Terminal 3

Terminal 4

  • Aeroflot (Moscow-Sheremetyevo)
  • Air Algérie (Algiers)
  • American Airlines (Miami)
  • Avianca (Bogotá, Cali)
  • British Airways (London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow)
  • Brussels Airlines (Brussels)
  • Czech Airlines (Prague)
  • EgyptAir (Cairo, Luxor)
  • El Al (Tel Aviv)
  • Finnair (Helsinki)
  • Iberia Airlines and Air Nostrum (Algiers, Alicante, Almeria, Amsterdam, Asturias,Athens, Badajoz, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona, Berlin-Tegel, Bilbao, Bogotá, Bologna, Bordeaux, Boston, Brussels, Bucharest-Otopeni, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cagliari [seasonal], Cairo, Caracas, Casablanca, Catania [seasonal], Chicago-O'Hare, Clermont-Ferrand, Copenhagen, Dakar, Dublin, Dubrovnik [seasonal], Düsseldorf, Florence, Frankfurt, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Granada, Genoa, Gran Canaria, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, Havana, Ibiza, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jerez de la Frontera, Johannesburg, Kraków, La Coruña, Lagos, La Rioja, Lanzarote, Leon, Lima, Lisbon, London-Heathrow, Lyon, Malabo, Malaga, Marrakesh, Marseille, Melilla, Minorca, Mexico City, Miami, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Montevideo, Montpellier, Moscow-Domodedovo, Munich, Murcia, Nantes, Naples, New York-JFK, Nice, Olbia [seasonal], Oporto, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Panama City, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Prague, Quito, Pisa, Rennes, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, Rome-Fiumicino, San Jose de Costa Rica, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Compostela, San Sebastian, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Santander, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Sevilla, Stockholm-Arlanda, St. Petersburg, Strasbourg, Tangier, Tel Aviv, Tenerife-North, Tenerife-South, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Venice, Vienna, Vigo, Vitoria, Warsaw, Washington-Dulles, Zaragoza, Zurich)
  • Iberworld (Aswán, Bamako, Banjul, Bogotá, Cancún, Hassi Messaoud, Havana, Luxor, Montego Bay, Nairobi, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Salvador, Venice) [All seasonal]
  • LAN Airlines (Frankfurt, Santiago)
  • Luxair (Luxembourg)
  • Malév Hungarian Airlines (Budapest)
  • Olympic Airlines (Athens)
  • Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca)
  • Royal Jordanian (Amman)
  • Syrian Arab Airlines (Damascus)
  • TAROM (Bucharest-Otopeni, Cluj-Napoca)
  • Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk)
  • Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil, Lviv)
  • Vueling Airlines (Barcelona, Ibiza, Gran Canaria, Lisbon, Malaga, Malta, Minorca, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Nice, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Tenerife-Norte, Venice)

Notable Incidents

November 1983 Avianca crash

On November 27,1983, 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, and there were no survivors among the 23 crew.

December 1983 Iberia/Aviaco Collision

On December 7, 1983, Iberia Airlines 727 Flight 350 collided during takeoff with Aviaco DC9 Flight 134. The Aviaco DC9 had accidentally entered the runway as the Iberia flight was taking off. 135 people were killed, including 93 from the Iberia and 42 from the Aviaco.

2006 bombing

On the morning of December 30, 2006, an explosion took place in the carpark building module D attached to Terminal 4 of Madrid Barajas International Airport in Spain. A bomb threat was phoned in at approximately 8:15 local time (7:15 GMT), with the caller stating that a bomb would explode at 9:00 local time (8:00 GMT). After receipt of the warning, police were able to evacuate part of the airport. Later, an anonymous caller stated that ETA claims responsibility for the bombing.

As a result of the explosion, two Ecuadorians who were sleeping in their cars died. The whole module D of the carpark 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.

August 2008 Spanair crash

On August 20,2008, Spanair Flight JKK 5022 which was traveling 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, 162 thereof being passengers. At least 154 people have been killed. 2 were seriously injured and 12 were slightly injured.


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