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Ciudad Real airport, Spain


Ciudad Real Airport is an airport south of Ciudad Real (central Spain). Located adjacent to the A-43 motorway, it was projected to have a connection to the Madrid–Seville high-speed rail line, making it the first Spanish airport to be linked to the AVE system. Via AVE, the airport would have been 50 minutes from central Madrid, 50 minutes from Córdoba, and less than 2 hours from Seville and Málaga.

In April 2012, the airport was closed after just three years in operation, its management company having gone into receivership. It had not received scheduled flights since December 2011, when low-cost airline Vueling withdrew its last route.

It was said to be the first international private airport in Spain, but the local public savings bank had about a 70% stake in direct and indirect investment in the airport. As some reports have shown, the only profit in this airport was the building of it: investors benefited from signing contracts with their own construction companies getting money from the loan given by the local savings bank.

No strong opposition to the project occurred. However, national ecologist organizations such as Seo Birdlife and Ecologistas en Accion were lobbying and campaigning against it for environmental reasons. Their arguments were basically for the protection of steppe habitats. The works and the inauguration were delayed but the project went on.

After its failure the airport will be put up for auction with a starting price much lower than its cost.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Ciudad Real airport, Spain
State or province:Castilla la Mancha
Location of conflict:Ciudad Real, Ballesteros de Calatrava and Villar del Pozo
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Tourism services

Project Details and Actors

Project details

4,000 m length runway.

24,000 m2 terminal building.

2.5 million passenger/year capacity.

Project area:1,234.45
Level of Investment:1,460,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Company names or state enterprises:Grupo Isolux Corsán S.A from Spain
León Triviño Construcciones y Obras Públicas S.A from Spain
Sacyr from Spain
Relevant government actors:Regional Government of Castilla la Mancha., Diputacion de Ciudad Real., City councils of the municipalities.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Seo Birdlife, Ecologistas en accion

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Withdrawal of company/investment
Proposal and development of alternatives:- Another location.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Because there was no viability and the economic crisis hit hard Spain, the infrastructure stopped working and it is going to be put up in auction.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Management Plan for the Special Bird Protected Area (ZEPA):

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries


Airport Watch:

Article in BBC:

Article in The Guardian:

Several articles about airports in Spain (Spanish):

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Daily Mail image gallery:

Other comments:- Specific blog on the airport (in Spanish):

Meta information

Contributor:Alfred Burballa Noria
Last update24/08/2018



Source: EFE. El confidencial

Ciudad Real Airport

Source: web oficial de Turismo de Castilla-La Mancha. /WWW.TURISMOCASTILLALAMANCHA.COM

Ciudad Real airport form an airplane