Last night there was a TV report about what they call the ghost airports of Spain. There are 52 airports in Spain and only 26 are functional. Many of these airports were built during the boom times, which stopped about 5 years ago. They were built by the regional governments because of pride of their regions. If you build an airport, they will come. That was the thought before and the people have not come to use these airports. I read in the newspaper recently that there is one airport every 200 km. in Spain.
The airport at Huesca is in the region of Aragon and is north of Zaragoza. This airport calls itself the Gateway to the Pyrenees. The city has a population of 52,000 only, and is one of the least populated provincial capitals of Spain. There are no scheduled airlines that go to this airport. The only ones that use the airport are those who come on private planes. There have been 18 passengers so far in all these years. The airport employs 25 persons, who have nothing to do at all, according to the TV report. The airport cost 40 million euros to build. I have taken the bus to Huesca from Zaragoza a few years ago and found two sights only that would interest tourists.
The airport of Castellon has just been finished. No airline wants to go there, even if it is subsidized by the regional authority.
Another airport that has problems is the one at Ciudad Real in Castilla la Mancha, and this airport cost 1.1 billion euros. It is in financial trouble and only one airline goes there, with very few passengers.
Still another airport is the one in Leon. There are flights only during summer from Madrid. I have flown into this very little airport in the past to visit Leon.
One would think that these regional governments would have made feasibility studies before actually building the airport. You could have made a study and tried to find out how many people would want to use the airport, how many airlines would be interested in using the airport, etc. Pride is one of the capital sins. The punishment for this regional pride is that the regional governments are now in difficulties because of the huge debts that they have to pay for the costs of these airports. In recent news is Castilla La Mancha, which has a new government that came in after the May 22 elections. The newly elected officials found out that they have a huge debt and cannot pay the salaries of those who work for the government. They have not paid their pharmacies for the last 3 months now, and the pharmacies went on a one day strike recently.
So does anyone want to visit the Pyrenees and use its gateway airport? You will have to charter a small plane to go there, but you will have the honor of being its 19th passenger!