ⓘ Santander Airport


ⓘ Santander Airport

Santander Airport, officially Seve Ballesteros–Santander Airport is an international airport near Santander, Spain and the only airport in Cantabria. In 2018 the airport handled 1.103.353 passengers and 11.258 flights, far more than in 1995 when it handled only 180.00 passengers. Since then, the traffic has declined following the trend in Spanish airports and the decrease in operations by some of the companies.


1. Name

The airport is named after the famous golf player Seve Ballesteros, born in Pedreña, a few kilometres from the airport and being one of the most well known public figures of Cantabria in the last century. The airport was known as Santander Airport until 2015. In May 2014, a popular initiative taken to the Parliament of Cantabria was unanimously approved to change the name after Seve Ballesteros, an icon in sport and life and one of the best ambassadors that Cantabria ever had in the last decades. The Spanish Government approved the change on 16 April 2015


2. History

The current airport, built on ground filled of the bay of Santander, was opened to traffic in 1977. Before there was on the same site a smaller airfield built between 1947 and 1952 by prisoners of the Spanish Civil War. It opened in 1953 replacing the old Santander airport located in La Albericia, that was receiving commercial flights since 1949, and received the name of Aeropuerto de Santander and popularly known as "Parayas". It received the international rating in 1957.

After a three-year closure from April 1974 until August 8, 1977, in which the airport underwent a major renovation that significantly expanded its facilities and had a cost of more than 1.100 million pesetas of the time; it was reopened with a new 2.400 m runway and with the technology to allow both visual and instrumental flight; the first flight after the renovation corresponded to the Iberias DC-9 "Ciudad de Santander", that covered the Barcelona-Santander-Santiago de Compostela route.

In recent years there have been new renovation works, that started in 2007, remodeling and expanding the terminal and installing two gateways or fingers for direct access to the planes, widening the platform for parking more aircraft or construction of taxiways and a platform for general aviation.

Until 2003 the premises were considered underused due to the limited number of flights and their high fees, which made a shift in potential passengers to the airport of Bilbao, 100 km away. From this date, following an agreement signed between the Government of Cantabria and the budget airline Ryanair, the airport experimented an increase in the number of destinations national and international, passengers and airlines operating. In 2005 the airport reached 644.662 passengers, growing by 88% over the previous year and having a user balance between domestic and international flights. This increase was the largest proportion of all airports in Spain in that year.

In December 2010, for the upgrading of the facilities 37.8 million euros were invested, preparing the airport hold an annual traffic of over two million passengers a year. The works included the remodeling of the terminal building of 10.200 m2, expanding new areas of departures and arrivals as well as the construction of a taxiway that can handle 22 movements per hour, and the extension of the aircraft parking platform.


3. Facilities

After the implementation of the renovations referred to in the Airport Master Plan, today it has 8 check-in desks, 3 baggage carousels in the arrivals lounge and 5 boarding gates. As an international airport, it is also capable of handling flights from countries outside the Schengen zone.


4. Ground transport

The road access by car is from the S-10 highway, exit 3 and then taking the road N-636 that leads to the airport facilities. There is also a regular bus line from Santanders main bus station in the city centre. The line buses from ALSA also stop in the airport prior booking in the routes that connect Santander with other towns in northern Spain like Bilbao, Gijon, Oviedo or Laredo.