Built during a boom and now deserted, Spain’s growing ranks of “ghost airports” may not be the international air hubs their creators dreamed of — but they are still burning up cash.
The ghost sites appear a paradox in a country whose public airports overall received 204 million passengers in 2011 — described by AENA as the second best results in their history. The first of the two private airports, in Ciudad Real, south of Madrid, opened in 2008 and may close now following its last flight by budget airline Vueling in October.
Apart from these, “airports that have less than 100,000 passengers a year that is less that one flight a day, are really ghost airports too,” says Germa Bel, an economist at Barcelona University.
“In Spain, there are some 15 airports like this,” adds Bel. “There is certainly going to be a lot of debate about what to do with them. It is quite annoying to close an operating theatre in a hospital and keep open an airport with 30 or 40 people working there and no planes landing.”