New €647m terminal at El Altet opens

EL ALTET airport’s new terminal was inaugurated by Aena and Public Works Minister Jose Blanco yesterday (Wednesday) and was due to open to the public today. This project was part of an ambitious modernization process and puts it at the forefront of Mediterranean tourist airports.

The new terminal – which is about six times the size of terminals one and two – can service nearly 6,000 passengers per hour. Construction began in 2004, although the work to complete the full refurbishment of the facilities will not be finished until 2014.

The airport currently offers flights to 75 domestic and international destinations, with a special emphasis on low-cost airlines. Passenger numbers has increased from 6.5 million in 2001 to 9.3 million in 2010.

El Altet airport has been the least affected by the economic crisis, with hardly any decline in passenger numbers in 2010 when compared to 2009. Tourist expectations for this summer suggest that the number of passengers using the airport will exceed 10 million this year.

In 1999, Aena initially dismissed the possibility of extending the airport, despite it having reached a record 5.3 million passengers. When the Socialist (PSOE) Central Government came into power, the €674.47 million project was launched.

In addition to this was the project for the AVE railway Madrid-Alicante line, while other projects, including the Trasvase del Ebro National Water Plan were suppressed.

For now, Aena have deemed it unnecessary for a second runway to be built, however they have reserved some land for future expansion of the tracks.

By Nicole Hallett


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