Murcia Airport Guide
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Your Complete Guide to Murcia Airport

Murcia Airport serves as a military airbase as well as a civilian passenger airport, and is found approximately 17 miles to the south of the city. The airport is located in an area known as San Javier, and it is therefore commonly referred to as the San Javier. It has the official IATA code of MJV, and its ICAO code is listed as LELC. Although one of Spain’s smaller airgates, Murcia is still considered to be an important gateway for visitors of the Mar Menor and La Manga region, and it is situated in the triangle of Murcia, Torrevieja and Cartagena. The passengers mainly fly on charter services and low-cost airline carriers, which offer flights to and from a reasonable number of destinations.

The airport lies on the northern shoreline of the Mar Menor, and is in the district of Santiago de la Ribera. It is easy to access by motor vehicle, as there are two main access roads. These roads are known as the Mar Menor road, which links the site to the city of Murcia, and the AP-7. Motorists with a satellite navigation system can use the following coordinates to help them locate the position:  37°46′29″N 000°48′44″W. The airport is operated by Aena, that is also considered to be one of the world’s leading authorities in terms of passenger numbers, as their airports collectively handle almost 200 million passengers.

Spain is a very popular destination for tourists, and many of its airports, including Murcia, handle the majority of their passengers during the summertime. The main airline carrier is Ryanair, a company often mentioned as the ‘world’s favourite airline’. Ryanair is a low-cost carrier that has significantly boosted traffic at many smaller airports in Europe, since the phenomenon of low-cost flights took hold in 2000. Ryanair offers year-round flights to Dublin and London-Stansted, and seasonal flights to Birmingham, Bournemouth, East Midlands, Glasgow-Prestwick, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool and London-Luton. This popular airline company accounts for 50% of the traffic but has recently announced that they will discontinue seven of their routes and the flights to Dublin and London Stansted will be greatly reduced during the winter. This will cause the airport to lose 120,000 passengers during the colder season, and 76 weekly flights.

Jet2.com is another popular airline carrier with flights to Newcastle upon Tyne, Belfast-International and Blackpool, and EasyJet offers flights to London-Gatwick. Other airline companies serving include Air Berlin, Bmibaby, Iberia, Jetairfly and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Even though it is actually located on the Costa Cálida, it is a good arrival point for those travelling the southern tip of the Costa Blanca as well. Since early 2000, the airport’s traffic has grown considerably, from only 217,000 passengers to over a million per annum. In 2005, traffic numbers surpassed the million mark, and peaked in 2007, with just over two million passengers. From 2007, traffic decreased somewhat, leaving the year 2010 with 1.3 million passengers.

Murcia Airport’s history began in 1920, when the Spanish navy acquired the plot of land it currently stands on. It was not until 1963 that commercial flight activity was requested and new facilities and services were provided in order to accommodate the new type of air traffic. Civil traffic began in July, of 1964. Work was then carried out on the runway, increasing it to 2,300 metres in length, and the parallel taxiway was restored. The new improvements allowed to begin international traffic in 1967. Further additions were made to accommodate international passengers, and in the 1970’s, the airport’s access road was improved and various other developments were made. A new terminal of 3,500 square metres was provided in the early 1990’s, and the arrival area of the terminal was expanded in 2004, adding a further 1,100 square metres to the building. Enlargements to the departures area were made in 2006, allowing for more check-in desks, and a renovated departures lounge.

Today, Murcia Airport still has its single terminal, which comprises of 18 check-in desks in the main lobby of the departures area, along with a cafeteria and multi-shop. Further shops and restaurants are then found in the secure departure lounge. The airport has five boarding gates. In the arrivals area there are four carousels from where passengers will collect their baggage, for both domestic and international flights, and a passport control and Customs office. After arrival procedures are complete, customers can find car hire companies, and tourism information desks within the main arrival area. Additional facilities include two ATMs and a lost property office. Guided tours for school groups and other individuals are also regularly provided, to give better insight as to the operation. Murcia Airport has facilities for disabled passengers as well.

There are three runways, but only one has an asphalt surface, and is equipped to handle aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 757 or 767. The other two runways are much shorter, only around 800 metres, and are not used for take-offs and landings. IATA declares Murcia Airport as a fire category 5, and the airport has an ambulance available for runway emergencies.