Barcelona-El Prat Airport (IATA: BCN, ICAO: LEBL), simply known as Barcelona Airport, is located 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of the centre of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, lying in the municipalities of El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans and Sant Boi.The airport is the second largest in Spain behind Madrid Barajas Airport and 31st busiest in the World, also it is main airport in Catalonia. It is a main base for Vueling and a focus city for Air Europa and Iberia. The airport mainly serves domestic, European and North African destinations, also having flights to Southeast Asia, Latin America and North America. The Airport was a hub for Spanair before it suspended services on January 27, 2012.
The Barcelona–Madrid air shuttle service, known as the "Puente Aéreo" (in Spanish), or "Pont Aeri" (in Catalan) literally "Air Bridge", was the world's busiest route until 2008, with the highest number of flight operations (971 per week) in 2007. The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when a Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line was opened, covering the distance in 2 hours 30 minutes, and quickly became popular.In 2011, nearly 34.4 million passengers used Barcelona Airport, a 17.8% increase compared with 2010, making it the 9th busiest airport in Europe. This is a record in history Barcelona Airport, both total numbers of passengers and growth numbers of passengers compared with previous year.
El Prat Today
Most of the traffic at Barcelona Airport is domestic and European, in which Spanair and Vueling have an operational base. However, the number of intercontinental connections has not received a highly significant amount of passenger traffic. The lack of numerous intercontinental connections has been a constant cause of complaint and pressure by the authorities and Catalan groups in recent years, who want the airport to become a centre of world air traffic distribution and not just European.
In recent years the traffic of low-cost airlines has grown significantly, especially after the creation of operating bases by Vueling and Clickair at the airport. Vueling and Clickair merged in July 2009, now they operate under the name of Vueling. There are other low-cost airlines operating from the airport including easyJet, WizzAir, and Ryanair who have established a new base at the airport starting September 2010.
The new Terminal 1, designed by Ricardo Bofill was inaugurated on 16 June 2009. This new Terminal 1 has an area of 544,066 m2, and an aircraft ramp of 600,000 m2.
Its Facilities Include:
- 168 check-in counters
- 60 jetways
- 15 baggage carousels (one of the new carousel is equivalent to 4 carousels in the old terminal) and
- 13,000 parking spaces, in addition to the 12,000 already in the terminal 2.
The forecast is that the airport will be able to handle 55 million passengers annually and will reach 90 operations an hour.The extension of the airport with a total investment of €5.1 billion in the future will include a new satellite terminal and refurbishment of existing terminals. The civil engineering phase of the South Terminal has been made possible by a budget of €1000 million.
Terminal 2 was designed by Ricardo Bofill Levi. Terminal 2 was designed to expand the airport before the arrival of the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. Following the opening of Terminal 1, in 2009, Terminal 2 became nearly empty until the airport authorities lowered landing fees to attract low-cost and regional carriers to fill the terminal, although nowhere near full-capacity.
Barcelona Airport has approximately 24,000 parking spaces (12,000 at T1 & 12,000 at T2), 2,009 of them are in the parking building, placed in front of Terminal 2C, which it is connected to the airport by a covered corridor. In front of Terminal 2A, another parking building, which adds approximately 2,600 more spaces, this building is being extended with the construction of two new levels. The remainder are distributed in other areas on the exterior, in front of the terminal buildings and offices buildings. Since 16/6/2009, there is also a long stay parking between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.