Malaga airport (AGP)

Málaga Airport (IATA: AGP, ICAO: LEMG), also known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport, is the main airport for the Costa del Sol of Spain. It is 8 km southwest of Málaga and 5km north of Torremolinos. The airport has flight connections to over 60 countries worldwide, and 12,813,764 passengers passed through it in 2008. The airport currently operates with two terminals. A third terminal adjacent to the previous two is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in 2009. A second runway is expected to open by 2010.

Traffic

Passenger numbers have increased consistently from levels of around 6 million in 1995 to 12.8 million passengers in 2008. The busiest routes are those within the EU, particularly to and from the United Kingdom and Ireland. The airport is also used by many people visiting Gibraltar, since more airlines cover this airport than Gibraltar Airport

Access

Málaga airport is well-served by public transport, with Cercanías Málaga train directly serving the airport from Málaga city centre and Fuengirola, an airport coach linking to Marbella bus station. The number 19 bus run by EMTSAM runs a service to MálagaBus Station and the City Centre and costs 1 Euro. The bus runs from 6am - 12 midnight and departs from the arrivals section in both terminals 1 and 2.

Málaga airport is currently upgrading its infraestructure with the inauguration of the 2nd runway and an underground station for the suburban trains, connecting it with Málaga and providing this way better communications with the city center.

History

The first scheduled air service from Málaga began in 1919, when Didier Daurat began regular flights between Toulouse, Barcelona, Alicante, Málaga Tangiers and Casablanca.

In 1937, training academies for the Air Force were set up in Málaga airport, and in 1946 the airport was opened to international civil passenger flights, and was classified as a customs post.

The one runway was extended in the 1960s, and a new terminal was erected in the centre of the site. During this period of development new navigational equipment was installed, including radar system at the end of the decade, in 1970.

Having been known by various names throughout its history, Málaga Airport was officially given its current title in 1965. Three years later, in 1968, the new passenger terminal was opened. In 1972 a second passenger terminal was opened to cater specifically for non-scheduled traffic. An increase in companies offering package holidays (around 30 by 1965) meant that this type of traffic was providing an increasing portion of the airport's business.

In 1991, the brand new Pablo Ruiz Picasso terminal was opened. This building was designed by architect Ricardo Bofill, and was built to be operated in combination with the pre-existing passenger terminal. The new terminal, known also as Terminal 2, hosts a large check-in/entrance hall with a Burger King on the southern side and a long row of check-in desks running left to right across the concourse. Once passengers check in they go beyond the check-in desks themselves to access the security areas instead of having to "back-track" on themselves, meaning that the check-in concourse is less crowded, particularly important if people have luggage trolleys. Once beyond the security check-point passengers can use the airport's facilities. These include:

  • Duty-free/Tax-free shopping which is located on a mezzanine floor and accessed by a series of escalators.
  • Restaurant/Buffet style diner also located on the upper level.

Once each flight has been allocated a departure gate, passengers are told to proceed to a pier, either B to the left or C to the right. As a general rule domestic departures, in particular Iberia, Spanair flights depart from pier B along with mainland European flights. Pier C hosts flights departing to the UK and Ireland although some UK carriers such as EasyJet flights to Liverpool occasionally depart from pier B.

Further development was done on the airport in the mid-90s, with the old passenger building being converted into a general aviation terminal, and a new hangar for large aircraft maintenance being built to the north of the airport site. Also constructed in this period was a terminal specifically catering to cargo traffic.

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