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Modernisation of the airport network and reorganisation of air space
Spanish airports, among the best in the world


Almost 264 million passengers

Over 2,3 million operations

Over 1 million tonnes of freight

  • Barajas Plan
  • Barcelona Plan
  • Malaga Plan
  • Barajas Plan
  • Barcelona Plan
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Ineco has cooperated with Aena on the modernisation and remodelling of the main airports in Spain, including works on air space reorganisation.


Spain is the third biggest handler of air traffic in Europe. Airports such as Madrid or Barcelona are among the ten top European airports in terms of passenger traffic and flights.

Each year approximately 200 million people use the country’s 47 airports, which, thanks to expansion and improved infrastructures, have sufficient capacity to assume the estimated growing demands of passengers in coming years. The Spanish operator Aena has invested heavily in achieving this and has relied on the services of Ineco to plan, draft, manage and commission the most important airport expansion plans in the country.

Data Sheet
Location: Spain
Client: Aena
Execution period: 1997-2011
Market: Airports

Plan Barajas: one of the biggest infrastructures works in the world


Adolfo Suárez - Madrid Barajas is one of the top ranking airports in Europe with the biggest influx of travellers. In order to cope with the increasing demand, Aena set up an expansion project, embodied in its Plan Barajas, on which Ineco actively collaborated, and was responsible for the project management and commissioning.

The expansion included two new runways in the airfield, taxiways, movement areas and various associated systems. A new terminal building was also built, in order to meet the requirements of over 35 million passengers per year, as well as a satellite building with capacity for 15 million, and a new control tower. Other works included in the Madrid-Barajas expansion project were an air port services tunnel, a car park, new access and an automated luggage system able to process 16,000 pieces of baggage every hour.

In terms of air navigation, all the arrival, departure and approach manoeuvres have been designed to adapt to the new requirements, endeavouring to reduce any environmental impact to a minimum. Thus, a new TMA (terminal manoeuvring area) was projected, with new control sectors, in order to deal with traffic operating on four runways and to respond in a flexible manner to geographic variations in demand. In addition, prior to commissioning, operational safety studies and real time simulations were carried out, in addition to a runway capacity study in order to establish the maximum performance of the four runways and the specially developed procedures.

Plan Barcelona: a hub for the Mediterranean


Plan Barcelona has put El Prat airport firmly on the map of European air transport.

Ineco has provided technical assistance to the project, managing development and implementation of the Plan. The scope of its remit included infrastructures such as the terminal building, equipped to deal with 40 million passengers, a third runway, a new air traffic control tower, an intermodal connection building, and development of a new airport city, extending the aeronautical service and industrial area.

Ineco carried out the requisite studies for resizing and restructuring airspace, due to extension of the airfield and operational needs, endeavouring to keep environmental impact to a minimum.

When constructing the new control tower we also worked on defining arrangement of the control positions of the airport’s two control towers.

Plan Malaga: outstanding airport services in the heart of the Costa del Sol

Malaga’s airport is the fourth largest in Spain in terms of traffic volume. The expansion is designed to double the airport’s capacity enabling it to cope with up to 20 million passengers, modernising its facilities and increasing intermodality and economic and social development in the area and on the Costa del Sol in general.

The project is technically and organisationally extremely complex, as it is concentrated over a short period of time and with limited space, thus a considerable amount of construction work will take place while the airport continues to operate.

Ineco is providing technical assistance to the consultancy managing the programme which includes, planning, addressing requirements, defining functional specifications, design, construction, testing, commissioning and final delivery to the airport.

The expansion project will include a new terminal building with capacity for processing 9,000 passengers per hour, a new runway and three taxiways, a new platform, new accesses, and new multi-storey car parks.

In the light of the work carried out in Malaga air space, Ineco also designed the departure, arrival and approach manoeuvres so that the runways are able to operate independently without affecting special areas close to the airport. The new Malaga scenario with two runways was the subject of an operational study which defined the possible operating modes and adapted them to the demands of air traffic, making best use of the infrastructures available.

Following its expansion, Malaga airport has become one of the foremost tourist areas in the Mediterranean in terms of capacity, quality and safety.

Spanish presence in the most important airports in the world


Our experience in modernising the Spanish airport network and in developing air navigation systems and managing airport infrastructures has enabled us to export our know-how beyond Spain’s borders and to work on plans for some of the world’s most important airports, such as project management of Kuwait Airport or Heathrow Airport’s Winter Resilience Programme.