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.