Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport

Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport

Adolfo Suárez
Madrid–Barajas Airport[1]

Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas
Airport type Public
Operator Aena
Serves Madrid, Spain
Location Madrid, Paracuellos de Jarama, San Sebastián de los Reyes and Alcobendas
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 610 m / 2,000 ft
MAD is located in Madrid
Location within Madrid
Direction Length Surface
m ft
14R/32L 4,100 13,451 Asphalt
18L/36R 3,500 11,482 Asphalt
14L/32R 3,500 11,482 Asphalt
18R/36L 4,349 14,268 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 41,833,374 (5.3%)
Aircraft Movements 342,601 (2.9%)
Cargo 366,645 (5.8%)
Economic impact $10.9 billion[2]
Sources: Passenger Traffic, AENA[3]
Spanish AIP, AENA[4]

Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas ) (ICAO: LEMD)[5] is the main international airport serving Madrid in Spain. In 2014, over 41 million passengers used Madrid–Barajas,[3] making it the country's largest and busiest airport, and Europe's sixth busiest. It opened in 1928, and has grown to be one of the most important aviation centres of Europe. Located within the city limits of Madrid, it is just 9 km (5.6 mi) from the city's financial district and 13 km (8.1 mi) northeast of the Puerta del Sol, Madrid's historic centre. The airport name derives from the adjacent district of Barajas, which has its own metro station on the same rail line serving the airport. Barajas serves as the gateway to the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe and the world, and is a particularly key link between Europe and Latin America. The airport is the primary hub and maintenance base for Iberia. Consequently, Iberia is responsible for more than 60 percent of Barajas' traffic.


  • History 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Development since the 2000s 1.2
  • Airlines and destinations 2
    • Passenger 2.1
    • Cargo 2.2
  • Traffic and statistics 3
    • Passenger numbers 3.1
    • Route statistics 3.2
  • Ground transport 4
    • Rail 4.1
    • EMT Bus 4.2
    • Airport People Mover 4.3
    • Airport parking 4.4
  • Incidents and accidents 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Iberia Boeing 747-100 at the airport in 1970
Terminal 4 departures area

Early years

The airport was constructed in 1927, opening to national and international air traffic on 22 April 1931, although regular commercial operations began two years later. A small terminal was constructed with a capacity for 30,000 passengers a year, in addition to several hangars and the building of the Avión Club. The first regular flight was established by Lineas Aéreas Postales Españolas (LAPE) with its line to Barcelona. Later, in the 1930s international flights started to serve some European and African destinations.

Originally, the flight field was a large circle bordered in white with the name of Madrid in its interior, unpaved, consisting of land covered with natural grass. It was not until the 1940s that the flight field was paved and new runways were designed. The first runway which started operation in 1944 was 1,400 metres long and 45 metres wide. By the end of the decade the airport had three runways, none of which exist today. In the late 1940s, scheduled flights to Latin America and the Philippines started.

In the 1950s, the airport supported over half a million passengers, increasing to 5 runways and scheduled flights to New York City began. The National Terminal, currently T2, began construction in 1954 and was inaugurated later that year. In the Plan of Airports of 1957, Barajas Airport is classified as a first-class international airport. By the 1960s, large jets were landing at Barajas, and the growth of traffic mainly as a result of tourism exceeded forecasts. At the beginning of the decade, the airport reached the 1.2 million passengers, double that envisaged in the Plan of Airports of 1957.

In the 1970s, with the boom in tourism and the arrival of the Boeing 747, the airport reached 4 million passengers and began the construction of the international terminal (current T1). In 1974, Iberia, L.A.E. introduced the shuttle service between Madrid and Barcelona, a service with multiple daily frequencies and available without prior reservation.

The 1982 FIFA World Cup brought significant expansion and modernisation of the airport's two existing terminals.

In the 1990s, the airport expanded further. In 1994, the first cargo terminal was constructed and the control tower was renovated. In 1997, it opened the North Dock, which is used as an exclusive terminal for Iberia's Schengen flights. In 1998, it inaugurated a new control tower, 71 m tall and then in 1999 the new South Dock opened, which implies an expansion of the international terminal. During this time, the distribution of the terminals changed: The south dock and most of the International Terminal were now called T1, the rest of the International Terminal and Domestic Terminal were now called T2 and the north dock was called T3.

In November 1998, the new runway 18R-36L started operations (replacing the previous 18–36), 4,400 m long, one of the largest in Europe under expansion plans called Major Barajas. In 2000, it began the construction of new terminals T4 and its satellite, T4S, designed by architects Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers, and directed by architect Luis Vidal. Two parallel runways to the existing ones were also built.

Development since the 2000s

The new terminals and runways were completed in 2004, but administrative delays and equipment, as well as the controversy over the redeployment of terminals, delayed service until 5 February 2006.

Terminal 4, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers; and directed by Luis Vidal, (winning team of the 2006 Stirling Prize) and TPS Engineers, (winning team of the 2006 IStructE Award for Commercial Structures)[6] was built by Ferrovial[7] and inaugurated on 5 February 2006. Terminal 4 is one of the world's largest airport terminals in terms of area, with 760,000 square meters (8,180,572 square feet) in separate landside and airside structures. It consists of a main building, T4 (470,000 m²) and a satellite building, T4S (290,000 m²), which are approximately 2.5 km apart. The new Terminal 4 is meant to give passengers a stress-free start to their journey. This is managed through careful use of illumination, with glass panes instead of walls and numerous domes in the roof which allow natural light to pass through. With this new addition, Barajas is designed to handle 70 million passengers annually.

During the construction of Terminal 4, two more runways (15L/33R and 18L/36R) were constructed to aid in the flow of air traffic arriving and departing from Barajas. These runways were officially inaugurated on 5 February 2006 (together with the terminals), but had already been used on several occasions beforehand to test flight and air traffic manoeuvres. Thus, Barajas came to have four runways: two on a north–south axis and parallel to each other (separated by 1.8 km) and two on a northwest–southeast axis (and separated by 2.5 km). This allowed simultaneous takeoffs and landings into the airport, allowing 120 operations an hour (one takeoff or landing every 30 seconds).

Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are adjacent terminals that are home to SkyTeam and Star Alliance airlines. Terminal 4 is home to Iberia, its franchise Air Nostrum and all Oneworld partner airlines. Gate numbers are continuous in terminals 1, 2 and 3 (A1 to E89), but are separately numbered in terminal 4 (H,J,K and M,R,S,U in satellite building).

The Madrid–Barcelona air shuttle service, known as the "Puente Aéreo" (in Spanish), literally called "Air Bridge", is the busiest route between two European airports[8] with 55 daily flights in 2012.[9] The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when the Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line was opened, covering the distance in 2 12 hours, and quickly became popular.

In 2007, the airport processed more than 52 million passengers. Barajas was voted "Best Airport" in the 2008 Condé Nast Traveller Reader Awards.[10]

In December 2010, the Spanish government announced plans to tender Madrid–Barajas airport to companies in the private sector for a period of up to 40 years.[11]

On 27 January 2012, Spanair suspended all flights affecting Madrid–Barajas as well as other domestic and international connections.[12] On 20 September 2012, both runways 15/33 were renamed as 14R/32L (the longest) and 14L/32R (the shortest).

On 1 August 2015, the first scheduled Airbus A380 flight landed in Madrid-Barajas in a daily service to Dubai by Emirates.

Following the death of former Spanish Prime Minister, Adolfo Suárez, the Spanish Ministerio de Fomento has announced[13] that the airport is to be renamed Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez, Madrid–Barajas. This renaming seeks recognition for Suárez's role as the first Prime Minister of Spain after the restoration of democracy and his key participation in the Spanish Transition to Democracy after Franco's Dictatorship.

Airlines and destinations

Countries served by flights from Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport as of October 2013


Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aegean Airlines Athens 2
Aer Lingus Dublin 1
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo 1
Aerolíneas Argentinas Buenos Aires-Ezeiza 1
Aeroméxico Mexico City 1
Air Algérie Algiers 4
Air Arabia Maroc Tangier 1
Air Berlin Berlin–Tegel 4
Air Canada Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson 1
Air China Beijing–Capital, São Paulo–Guarulhos 1
Air Europa Lima, London–Gatwick, Milan–Malpensa, Miami, Montevideo, Munich, New York–JFK, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Orly, Punta Cana, Rome–Fiumicino, Salvador da Bahia, San Juan, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santo Domingo, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion,[16] Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South, Vigo
Seasonal: Menorca
Seasonal charter: Bergen, Edinburgh, Las Vegas, Oslo
1, 2, 3
Air Europa
operated by Privilege Style
Dakar, Lisbon, Porto, Ouarzazate[17] 2
Air Europa
operated by Swiftair
Bilbao, Málaga, Oviedo, Valencia, Vigo 2
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle 2, 3
Air Transat Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson 1
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino 2
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–JFK, Philadelphia
Seasonal: Charlotte
Avianca Bogotá, Cali, Medellín–Cordova 4
Blue Air Bacău (begins 30 March 2016), Bucharest-Otopeni, Turin (begins 27 March 2016)[18] 1
Boliviana de Aviación Cochabamba[19] 1
British Airways London–Heathrow 4
British Airways
operated by BA CityFlyer
London–City 4
Brussels Airlines Brussels 2
Bulgaria Air Sofia 4
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong (begins 2 June 2016)[20] 4
Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines
operated by White Airways
Malabo 4
Conviasa Caracas 1
Cubana de Aviación Havana, Santiago de Cuba 1
Czech Airlines Prague 4
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York–JFK 1
easyJet Berlin–Schönefeld, Bristol, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Lyon, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle 1
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva 1
EgyptAir Cairo 1
El Al Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion 4
Emirates Dubai–International 4
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa[21] 1
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi[22] 4
Eurowings Düsseldorf (ends 10 January 2016), Hamburg (ends 10 January 2016) 1
Finnair Helsinki 4
Iberia Lima, Lisbon, London–Heathrow, Luanda, Malabo, Marrakech, Medellín–Cordova, Mexico City, Miami, Milan-Linate, Milan–Malpensa, Montevideo,[24] Moscow–Domodedovo, Munich, New York–JFK, Oran, Oviedo, Panama City, Paris–Orly, Prague, Quito, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, Rome–Fiumicino, San José de Costa Rica, San Salvador, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Santander, Santo Domingo–Las Americas,[25] Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Compostela, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tenerife–North, Tenerife South, Venice, Vienna, Zürich
Seasonal: Boston, Budapest,[26] Catania, Dubrovnik, Los Angeles, Zagreb
Iberia Express Amsterdam,[27] Arrecife, Berlin–Tegel, Birmingham (begins 27 March 2016),[28] Copenhagen, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, London–Gatwick,[29] Lyon, Málaga, Manchester,[30] Nantes, Naples, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Charles de Gaulle,[30] Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Stockholm–Arlanda, Stuttgart,[31] Vigo
Seasonal: Athens, Budapest, Mykonos, Granada, Ibiza, Menorca, Reykjavik-Keflavik (begins 18 June 2016),[32] St Petersburg, Verona
Iberia Regional
operated by Air Nostrum
A Coruña, Alicante, Almería, Arrecife, Bologna, Bordeaux, Düsseldorf, Granada, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Logroño, Lourdes, Lyon, Marseille, Marrakech, Melilla, Menorca, Milan–Malpensa, Munich, Murcia, Nantes, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Paris–Orly, Pamplona, Porto, Rabat, San Sebastián, Santander, Strasbourg, Tangier, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Vigo
Seasonal: Catania, Corfu, Faro, Frankfurt, Geneva, Heraklion, Lisbon, Malta, Olbia, Oviedo, Palermo, Perpignan, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Santorini, Split, Venice, Vienna
Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík 2
KLM Amsterdam 2, 3
Korean Air Seoul–Incheon 1
LAN Airlines Frankfurt, Santiago de Chile 4
LAN Ecuador Guayaquil 4
LAN Perú Lima 4
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw–Chopin 2
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich 2
Luxair Luxembourg 4
Meridiana Naples 4
Niki Vienna 4
Norwegian Air Shuttle Birmingham, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Helsinki, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,[33] London–Gatwick, Nice, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tenerife-North,[33] Warsaw–Chopin
Seasonal: Catania, Dubrovnik, Malta
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen[34] 1
Qatar Airways Doha 4
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech 4
Royal Air Maroc Express Casablanca, Tangier 4
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia 4
Ryanair Alghero, Arrecife, Beauvais, Bergamo, Berlin–Schönefeld,[35] Bologna, Bratislava,[35] Bremen, Bucharest-Otopeni,[35] Budapest, Catania, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen,[36] Dublin, Eindhoven, Fes, Fuerteventura, Hamburg (begins 11 November 2015), Ibiza, Kraków, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, London–Stansted, Malta, Manchester, Marrakech, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Porto, Rabat, Rome–Ciampino, Santiago de Compostela, Tangier, Tenerife–North, Tenerife–South, Vilnius,[35] Warsaw-Modlin
Seasonal: Cagliari, Menorca, Moss, Palermo
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh 1
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal charter: Vilnius 1
S7 Airlines Moscow–Domodedovo 4
Swiss International Air Lines Geneva, Zürich 2
TAM Airlines São Paulo–Guarulhos 4
TAP Portugal Lisbon 2
TAP Portugal
operated by Portugália
Lisbon, Porto 2
TAROM Bucharest 4
Transavia Rotterdam 1
Transavia France Nantes, Paris–Orly 1
Tunisair Tunis 1
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk 1
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil
Seasonal: Lviv
United Airlines Newark
Seasonal: Washington–Dulles
Vueling Barcelona, Florence, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome–Fiumicino
Seasonal: Bucharest-Otopeni, Ibiza, Malta, Menorca
Wamos Air Cancún, Punta Cana
Charter: Aruba, Athens, Bologna, Bogotá, Helsinki, Malmö, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santo Domingo, Tallinn, Trondheim
Seasonal charter: Miami
Wizz Air Bucharest-Otopeni, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca, Sofia, Târgu Mureș, Timişoara 1

^1 All British Airways flights at Terminal 4 are operated using Iberia flight numbers.


Airlines Destinations
Atlantic Airlines Liège
DHL Aviation Beijing–Capital, Casablanca, Copenhagen, East Midlands, Frankfurt, Leipzig/Halle, London–Heathrow, Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
DHL Aviation
operated by EAT Leipzig
FedEx Feeder
operated by ASL Airlines Ireland
Dublin, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Gestair Cargo Frankfurt, Gran Canaria, Tenerife North
MASkargo Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur
Qatar Airways Doha
Swiftair Algiers, Athens, Barcelona, Casablanca, Gran Canaria, Lisbon, Mallorca, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Stockholm–Arlanda, Tenerife North[37]
operated by Swiftair Bahrain
TNT Airways Brussels, Liège
Turkish Airlines Cargo Algiers, Belgrade, Casablanca, Istanbul–Atatürk
UPS Airlines Casablanca, Chicago–O'Hare, Cologne/Bonn, London–Stansted

Traffic and statistics

Passenger numbers

Interior of Terminal 1
Interior of Terminal 4
Iberia aircraft at Terminal 4
Terminal 4 overview with Madrid in the background
The main control tower
Traffic on Runway 36L with Terminal 4 in the background
Passengers Aircraft Movements Cargo (tonnes)
2001 34,050,215 375,558 295,944
2002 33,915,302 368,029 295,711
2003 35,855,861 383,804 307,026
2004 38,718,614 401,503 341,177
2005 42,146,784 415,704 333,138
2006 45,799,983 434,959 325,702
2007 52,110,787 483,292 325,201
2008 50,846,494 469,746 329,187
2009 48,437,147 435,187 302,863
2010 49,863,504 433,683 373,380
2011 49,671,270 429,390 394,154
2012 45,195,014 373,185 359,362
2013 39,735,618 333,056 346,602
2014 41,833,374 342,601 366,645
Source: Aena Statistics[3]

Route statistics

Busiest domestic routes at Adolfo Suárez, Madrid–Barajas International Airport (OCT 2014-SEPT 2015)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Barcelona 2,220,531 Air Europa, Iberia, Vueling
2 Palma de Mallorca 1,379,301 Air Berlin, Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia, Ryanair
3 Gran Canaria 1,270,694 Air Europa, Iberia, Ryanair
4 Tenerife (North) 1,120,692 Air Europa, Iberia
5 Ibiza 658,764 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia, Ryanair, Vueling
6 Bilbao 647,430 Air Europa, Iberia
7 A Coruña 555,168 Air Nostrum, Iberia
8 Santiago de Compostela 516,127 Air Nostrum, Iberia, Ryanair
9 Vigo 480,263 Air Europa, Iberia
10 Lanzarote 401,720 Air Europa, Iberia, Ryanair
Busiest European routes at Madrid–Barajas International Airport (OCT 2014-SEPT 2015)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 1,302,954 British Airways, Iberia
2 Paris (Orly), France 1,133,488 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia
3 Lisbon, Portugal 1,133,275 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, EasyJet, Iberia, Portugalia Airlines, TAP Portugal
4 Paris (CDG), France 988,836 Air France, EasyJet, Iberia Express Vueling
5 Rome (Fiumicino), Italy 983,241 Air Europa, Alitalia, EasyJet, Iberia
6 Frankfurt, Germany 980,308 Air Nostrum, Iberia, LAN Airlines, Lufthansa
7 Amsterdam, The Netherlands 923,111 Air Europa, Iberia, KLM
8 London (Gatwick), United Kingdom 896,053 Air Europa, EasyJet
9 Munich, Germany 816,340 Air Nostrum, Iberia, Lufthansa
10 Brussels, Belgium 796,017 Air Europa, Brussels Airlines, Iberia
11 Milan (Malpensa), Italy 531,184 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, EasyJet, Iberia
12 Geneva, Switzerland 515,269 Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Iberia, Swiss International Air Lines
13 Zürich, Switzerland 485,205 Air Nostrum, Swiss International Air Lines
14 Porto, Portugal 476,962 Air Nostrum, Portugalia Airlines, Ryanair
15 Dublin, Ireland 457,660 Aer Lingus, Iberia, Ryanair
Busiest intercontinental routes at Madrid–Barajas International Airport (OCT 2014- SEPT 2015)
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Buenos Aires (Ezeiza), Argentina 771,045 Aerolíneas Argentinas, Air Europa, Iberia
2 New York (JFK), United States 711,983 Air Europa, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia
3 São Paulo (Guarulhos), Brazil 656,618 Air China, Air Europa, Iberia, TAM Airlines
4 Mexico City, Mexico 584,659 Aeroméxico, Iberia
5 Miami, United States 575,347 Air Europa, American Airlines, Iberia, Wamos Air
6 Lima, Peru 567,816 Air Europa, Iberia, LAN Perú
7 Bogotá, Colombia 528,707 Avianca, Iberia, Wamos Air
8 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 448,542 Emirates
9 Santiago, Chile 402,542 Iberia, LAN Airlines
10 Havana, Cuba 368,882 Air Europa, Cubana de Aviación, Iberia

Ground transport


The Madrid Metro Line connects the airport with city centre station Nuevos Ministerios in the heart of Madrid's financial district. The Barajas Line 8 Line 8 provides a fast route from the underground stations at Terminal 2 (access to T1 and T3) and Terminal 4 into central Madrid. The metro also provides links to stations on the Spanish railway network. The first ride in the morning leaves from Nuevos Ministerios around 6:05 am, arriving at Terminals 1-2-3 around 6:20 and at Terminal 4 around 6:25.

In October 2006, a bid was launched for the construction of a Cercanías link between Chamartín Station and Terminal 4. Now finished, this single Cercanías Line (C-1) links Madrid Barajas Terminal 4, with Chamartín Station and Atocha AVE high-speed train stations.[38] In June 2011 a decision was made to equip this link with dual gauge which will allow AVE high-speed trains to reach the airport station.[39]

The Nuevos Ministerios metro station allowed checking-in[40] right by the AZCA business area in central Madrid, but this convenience has been suspended indefinitely after the building of Terminal 4.[41]


EMT (Madrid Municipal Transport Company) runs regular public bus services between the airport and Madrid (Avenida de América station): bus 200 runs as a complete line – dropping passengers off at departures of terminals 1, 2 and 4 before collecting passengers in the reverse order at arrivals. The EMT public night bus service N4 (nicknamed "Buho", Owl) also services from Madrid downtown (Plaza Cibeles) to Barajas (Plaza de los Hermanos Falcó y Alvarez de Toledo, 400m from the airport through a passageway above the highway). EMT also have an express bus linking Barajas airport to Renfe's Atocha Station, the main rail station in Madrid, during day and Plaza Cibeles during night. Unlike the two services mentioned above, this line runs 24 hours of the day during all the days of the year.[42]

Airport People Mover

Shuttle train that links Terminal 4 with its satellite

In early 2006, the first driverless transit system in Spain and the longest airport people mover system in Europe began transporting passengers between The new terminal (T4) and a new satellite terminal (T4S) at Madrid's Barajas International Airport. Deploying the CITYFLO 550 automatic train control technology, the system is the only mode of transportation for passengers between the two terminals, which are spaced more than two kilometres apart. Bombardier became the only contractor for the completely underground shuttle system, including the construction of the civil works, operation and maintenance of the system.

Airport parking

Long- and short-term car parking is provided at the airport with seven public parking areas. P1 is an outdoor car park located in front of the terminal building; P2 is an indoor car park with direct access to terminals T2 and T3. A Parking 'Express' facility, available for short periods only, is located at Terminal 2 and dedicated long-term parking is also available with 1,655 spaces; a free shuttle operates between the long-stay car park and all terminals. There are also VIP car parks.

Incidents and accidents

  • On 30 September 1972, Douglas C-47B EC-AQE of Spantax crashed on take-off. The aircraft was being used for training duties and the student pilot over-rotated and stalled. One of the six people on board were killed.[43]
  • On 27 November 1983, Avianca Flight 011 crashed while attempting to land. Flight 011 struck a series of hills, causing the plane's right wing to break off. The 747 then cartwheeled, shattering into five pieces before coming to rest upside-down. Only 11 of the 169 passengers survived – there were no survivors among the 23 crew.[45]
  • On 7 December 1983, an Iberia 727 operating as Iberia Flight 350[46] collided during takeoff with Aviaco Flight 134, a DC-9[47] The Aviaco DC9 had accidentally entered the runway as the Iberia flight was taking off.[48] One hundred thirty-five people were killed, including 93 from the Iberia and 42 from the Aviaco.
  • On 15 July 2006, the winglet of a Thai Airways International Boeing 747-400 HS-TGY operating flight TG943 from Madrid Barajas Airport in Spain to Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport cut off the tail of an Air France ERJ-145 while taxiing to the runway for take-off. No injuries were reported.[49]
  • On the morning of 30 December 2006, an explosion took place in the carpark building module D attached to Terminal 4. A bomb threat was phoned in at approximately 8:15 local time (7:15 GMT), with the caller stating that a car bomb carried with 800 kg of explosive would explode at 9:00 local time (8:00 GMT).[50] After receipt of the warning, police were able to evacuate part of the airport.[51] Later, an anonymous caller stated that ETA claims responsibility for the bombing.[52] As a result of the explosion, two Ecuadorians who were sleeping in their cars died. The whole module D of the car park was levelled to the ground, around 40,000 tonnes of debris. It took six days to recover the body of the second victim from the rubble.
  • On 20 August 2008, Spanair Flight 5022 which was travelling to Gran Canaria, veered off to the right and into the ground while climbing immediately after lifting off from runway 36L at 14:45 local time. The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) MD-82 with registration "EC-HFP", was carrying 172 people, including 162 passengers.[53] In the accident, 154 people were killed, two were seriously injured and 12 were slightly injured. Prime Minister Zapatero ordered three days of national mourning.[54]
  • On 3 December 2010, during the Spanish air traffic controllers strike, Madrid–Barajas Airport remained inoperative when all Spanish air traffic controllers walked out in a coordinated wildcat strike. Following the walkout, the Spanish Government authorized the Spanish military to take over air traffic control operations.[55] On the morning of 4 December, the government declared a "State of Alert", ordering on the controllers back to work. Shortly after the measure was implemented, controllers started returning to work and the strike was called off.[56]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

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External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Adolfo Suárez, Madrid–Barajas official website
  • Route map