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Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Santiago - Rosalía de Castro Airport

Aeroporto de Santiago - Rosalía de Castro
Aeropuerto de Santiago - Rosalía de Castro
Aena Santiago.svg
Santiago de Compostela - LEST Terminal.jpg
Airport typePublic/Military
ServesSantiago, Galicia, Spain
LocationSantiago de Compostela
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL1,213 ft / 370 m
Coordinates42°53′47″N 08°24′55″W / 42.89639°N 8.41528°W / 42.89639; -8.41528
SCQ is located in Galicia
Location in Galicia
SCQ is located in Spain
SCQ (Spain)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 10,499 3,200 Asphalt
Statistics (2020)
Passengers change 19-20Decrease67.8%
Aircraft movements10,949
Movements change 19-20Decrease51.1%
Control tower
Control tower

Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport (Galician: Aeroporto de Santiago-Rosalía de Castro, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Santiago-Rosalía de Castro) (IATA: SCQ, ICAO: LEST), previously named Lavacolla Airport and also known as Santiago de Compostela Airport, 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. It has been named after the Galician romanticist writer and poetess, Rosalía de Castro, since 12 March 2020.[1]

The airport is located in the parish of Lavacolla, 12 km from Santiago de Compostela and handled 2,903,427 passengers in 2019. It is the 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.[2]

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.[3] During the 1990s, the airport had non-stop service to South America operated by Viasa.[4]

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 was often expanded. The old terminal closed on the night of 13 October 2011 when 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, 4 baggage carousels, and 13 gates of which 5 have airbridges. The baggage hall is split into two zones, one for Schengen flights and one for Non-Schengen. It can handle as many as 4 million passengers per year.[5] The terminal is due to be expanded in the future. This includes adding another five airbridges to five of the current gates as well as three more baggage carousels and an expanded shopping area.[6]

Airlines and destinations

Aer Lingus Seasonal: Dublin
Air Europa Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife–North
easyJet Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva
Seasonal: London–Gatwick (resumes 30 March 2022)
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zurich[7]
Iberia Express Madrid
Iberia Regional Bilbao
Seasonal: Gran Canaria, Santander (begins 29 July 2021),[8] Tenerife–North
Lufthansa Frankfurt[9]
Ryanair[10] Alicante, Barcelona, Bergamo, Bologna (begins 2 November 2021), Fuerteventura (begins 3 August 2021),[11] Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, London–Stansted, Madrid, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Tenerife–South, Valencia
Seasonal: Hahn, Ibiza, Menorca
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Zurich
TAP Air Portugal Lisbon (resumes 27 March 2022)[12]
Transavia Paris–Orly (resumes 31 October 2021)[13]
Volotea Seasonal: Menorca (resumes 29 May 2022)
Vueling Amsterdam, Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria,[14] Lanzarote, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle (resumes 1 October 2021), Paris–Orly (ends 30 August 2021), Tenerife–North
Seasonal: Bilbao, Brussels, Ibiza, London–Gatwick, Menorca, Seville, Valencia, Zurich


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.[15]

Traffic figures by year

See source Wikidata query and sources.

Passengers handled Passengers % Change Aircraft movements Aircraft % Change Freight (tonnes) Freight % Change
2000 1,332,893 - 19,660 - 6,773 -
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 Increase 27.04%
2017 2,644,925 Increase 5.34% 21,520 Increase 1.38% 2,693 Decrease 8.28%
2018 2,724,750 Increase 3.01% 21,839 Increase 1.50% 3,019 Increase 12.10%
2019 2,903,427 Increase 6.56% 22,396 Increase 2.55% 3,201 Increase 6.02%
2020 935,394 Decrease 67.8% 10,949 Decrease 51.1% 2,981 Decrease 6.9%

Traffic figures by month

2020 Passengers 2021 Passengers Passengers % Change
January 179,454 37,684 Decrease 79.0
February 175,669 18,800 Decrease 89.3
March 77,934 22,781 Decrease 70.8
April 829 38,240 Increase 4,512.8
May 139 71,219 Increase 51,136.69
June 10,750 136,512 Increase 1,169.90
July 86,177 -
August 147,639 -
September 94,965 -
October 73,503 -
November 34,707 -
December 53,628 -

Route statistics

Diagram of the airport
Diagram of the airport
Busiest domestic routes at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2020)[16]
Rank City Passengers % Change
2019 / 20
1 Community of Madrid Madrid 235.760 Decrease 67.4% Iberia, Iberia Express, Ryanair
2 Catalonia Barcelona 153.033 Decrease 64.2% Ryanair, Vueling
3 Balearic Islands Palma de Mallorca 67.343 Decrease 55.9% Air Europa, Iberia Regional, Ryanair, Vueling
4 Andalusia Málaga 47.940 Decrease 64.9% Ryanair, Vueling
5 Valencian Community Alicante 43.391 Decrease 70.6% Ryanair, Vueling
6 Canary Islands Gran Canaria 41.376 Decrease 62.9% Air Europa, Iberia Express, Iberia Regional, Ryanair, Vueling
7 Valencian Community Valencia 39.340 Decrease 58.9% Ryanair
8 Canary Islands Lanzarote 36.281 Decrease 59.0% Air Europa, Ryanair, Vueling
9 Andalusia Sevilla 35.425 Decrease 59.0% Ryanair
10 Canary Islands Tenerife (South) 23.415 Decrease 80.8% Air Europa, Ryanair

Busiest International routes at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2020)[16]
Rank City Passengers % Change
2019 / 20
2 Switzerland Geneva 27.583 Decrease 69.9% easyJet Switzerland
2 United Kingdom London Stansted 24.998 Decrease 78.3% Ryanair
3 Switzerland Basel 14.410 Decrease 66.8% easyJet Switzerland
3 Malta Malta 8.461 Increase 41.3% Ryanair
4 France Paris (Charles de Gaulle) 7.794 Decrease 85.6% Vueling
6 Italy Milan (Bergamo) 6.628 Decrease 85.9% Ryanair
7 Netherlands Amsterdam 5.259 Decrease 81.8% Vueling
8 Italy Rome (Ciampino) 5.165
9 France Paris (Orly) 4.444
Transavia, Vueling
10 Republic of Ireland Dublin 3.801 Decrease 93.1% Aer Lingus

Busiest countries of destination at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2020)[16]
Rank Country Passengers % Change
2019 / 20
Scheduled Carriers
1 Spain Spain 816.295 Decrease 63.5% Air Europa, Iberia, Iberia Express, Iberia Regional, Ryanair, Vueling
2 Switzerland Switzerland 45.081 Decrease 73.5% easyJet Switzerland, Edelweiss, Vueling
3 United Kingdom United Kingdom 25.560 Decrease 81.6% Ryanair
4 Italy Italy 14.364 Decrease 84.4% Ryanair, Vueling
5 France France 12.282 Decrease 77.5% Transavia, Vueling
6 Malta Malta 8.461 Increase 41.3% Ryanair
7 Netherlands Netherlands 5.259 Decrease 81.8% Vueling
8 Republic of Ireland Ireland 3.809 Decrease 93.1% Aer Lingus
9 Germany Germany 3.295 Decrease 96.2% Lufthansa
10 Cuba Cuba 548 Increase 79.1% -

Busiest Carriers at Santiago de Compostela Airport (2020)[16]
Rank Carriers Passengers % Change
2019 / 20
1 Republic of Ireland Ryanair 408.596 Decrease 67.0%
2 Spain Vueling 240.682 Decrease 64.8%
3 Spain Iberia Express 136.847 Decrease 71.6%
4 Switzerland easyJet Switzerland 41.953 Decrease 69.0%
5 Spain Air Europa 24.217 Decrease 76.0%
6 Spain Iberia Regional 19.740 Decrease 69.6%
7 Spain Volotea 8.995 Increase 3727.7%
8 Spain Evelop 4.407 Decrease 90.8%
9 Republic of Ireland Aer Lingus 3.801 Decrease 93.1%
10 Germany Lufthansa 3.219 Decrease 96.4%

Ground transportation


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

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

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.


Subsidies granted by the Galician autonomous government to most airlines operating at Santiago de Compostela airport have been criticized by some social and political agents in Galicia,[17][18][19] claiming that it implies unfair competition that damages the existing services at Vigo Airport and A Coruña Airport, which are located in Galicia's most populated areas.

In addition to that, some media have qualified the investment of 320 million euros in the current terminal building, which was executed during one of the worst economical crisis in Spain, as wasteful. Older terminal building, which had enough capacity for the estimated passenger volume was closed.[20][21][22] Currently, older terminal building remains unused and no proposals have been received to put it into operation.[23]

Accidents and Incidents

  • 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.[24]
  • 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.[25]
  • 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.[26]


  1. ^ Deaño Santiago, Carlos (12 March 2020). "Rebautizo oficial del aeropuerto como Rosalía de Castro". El Correo Gallego. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  2. ^
  3. ^ History of Santiago de Compostela Airport
  4. ^
  5. ^ New Terminal
  6. ^ New Terminal Expansion
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Lufthansa W20 European Preliminary operations as of 1000GMT 22AUG20". 22 August 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "TAP Air Portugal moves Santiago de Compostela launch to March 2021". 12 May 2020. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Transavia regresa a Santiago este invierno". 9 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Annual Statistics" (in Spanish). Aena Aeropuertos S.A. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  16. ^ a b c d Estadísticas aena-aeropuertos.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Santiago de Compostela accident

External links

Media related to Santiago de Compostela Airport at Wikimedia Commons

This page was last edited on 22 July 2021, at 23:02
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