Spain's eerie €1bn 'ghost' airport - a snip for the discerning buyer at just €100m

The first private international airport in Spain has been empty since flights stopped to the site in December 2011

Rob Williams
Thursday 08 August 2013 14:51
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A 4,000m runway, cargo facilities able to process 47,000 tonnes a year and the capacity to handle 10 million passengers. And crucially it's in mint condition.

Spain's most famous infrastructure white elephant, Ciudad Real Central Airport, a nearly new €1bn 'ghost' airport 100 miles south of Madrid, has gone on sale for the bargain basement price of €100m.

The first private international airport in Spain has been empty since flights stopped to the site in December 2011 and could now be the perfect purchase for a discerning billionaire tired of using other people's airports to park their jets.

The airport, which recently featured in an episode of the BBC motoring show 'Top Gear', was built in 2008 and opened fully in 2009.

It was intended to serve the Andaluscian coast and Madrid, which are each 50 minutes away by train.

Rather than processing 5million passengers a year, however, the airport saw its final commercial flight, from low-cost airline Vueling, in 2011.

It remained open for a further six months to deal with a scattering of private arrivals.

Ciudad Real isn't the only so-called 'ghost' airport in Spain and neither is it arguably the worst.

Castellón–Costa Azahar Airport, which was declared officially open in March 2011 after being built at an estimated cost of €150 million. As of June 2013 there has not been a single commercial flight to the airport.

Ciudad Real Central Airport boasts a runway long enough to land the Airbus A380 - the world's largest airliner, but also comes with a significant downside as any potential purchaser would have to pay off around €529million (£454million) in debts.

A corridor sits half finished at the Ciudad Real airport in La Mancha, Spain

According to reports creditors include those whose homes were bought to make way for the transport infrastructure as well as Air Berlin and Air Nostrum.

The abandoned control tower at the Ciudad Real airport in La Mancha, Spain

The judge overseeing the administration of the airport, which has a 28,000 sq ft terminal, has now ordered the sale of the building in order to pay creditors.

The Ciudad Real airport in La Mancha, Spain

Spain is in the midst of one of the worst ever recessions with some 3.8 million people joining the jobless lines since the first quarter of 2008.

Graffiti at the site of the incomplete Ciudad Real airport in La Mancha, Spain
A building lies in the middle of the desolate Ciudad Real airport
The incomplete Ciudad Real airport in La Mancha, Spain

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