Black-out chaos adds to Madrid airport woes
Saturday 14 December 1996
It was the worst of three black-outs during a week of mounting chaos that has caused spiralling delays in all flights, and cancellations in the peak pre-Christmas season. As the weekend approached, the situation worsened. Mr Salgado announced that the nearby military airbase at Torrejon would be commandeered for civilian planes.
The base, destined for Nato use when Spain becomes a full member next year, is expected to start taking the overspill within a fortnight. Passengers will have to check in at Barajas then be bussed along 8km of choked motorway. Torrejon's runway is at right angles to that of Barajas, so flight paths will intersect.
Tuesday's black-out was caused by a fire after a workman drove an excavator's drill through a 14,000-volt high- tension cable. Back-up generators and other emergency measures failed to operate. On Thursday an Iberia plane overran the runway and stuck in the mud, causing panic when an exit door stuck.
Madrid's only airport is 65 years old, has two congested runways, and work on the third is five years overdue. Regional authorities are slowly waking up to the need for a second airport.
The state airline, Iberia, fiercely opposes a second airport, insisting a single connecting point is vital for its international network. Anyone who uses Barajas regularly can testify to Iberia's clout. Flights from far cheaper private carriers are routinely bumped from their slots by Iberia.
Mr Arias Salgado blames the previous government for the chaos, saying the Socialists delayed a report on the environmental consequences of expansion for two years. Josep Borrell, the former Socialist Public Works Minister, criticised Mr Arias Salgado for his "irresponsibility and manifest inability to confront the problems of air traffic".
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Tesco in crisis: UK managing director among four executives suspended after exposure of accounting scandal
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks own nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...