The intense aeronautic activity in Barcelona at the beginning of the century resulted in many flights throughout Catalonia. The first flight in Gerona took place on the 3rd November 1913 and there were others in 1920, 1923, 1928 and 1930.

In 1931, the Empordanés Flying Club was formed which, with the help of the town council, opened an aerodrome in Figueras. In 1932, the Cerdanya Flying Club was established, using an aerodrome in Puigcerdá for its activities.

The Catalan Aeronautical Services encourage the establishment of tourist air routes through the Pyrenees and along the Costa Brava. As the most important area in the Pyrenees, the Cerdanya aerodrome was opened in 1934 in Puigcerdá. The abolition of the Catalan government in 1939 paralysed all development of aerodromes in Gerona. There were seven aerodromes in the area during the Civil War which were closed at its end, except for the aerodrome located at Banyoles.

New airport

In 1957, the provincial council started procedures to establish an airport in the province. It chose land in the city limits of Aiguaviva and Vilobí d'Onyar, ten kilometres south of Gerona. In 1965, the new airport had a runway measuring 2,200 by 45 metres and parking facilities for nine medium-sized aircraft. The airport was named Gerona Costa Brava Airport. Later, a power plant, control tower and transmitter facility were installed and a single-storey passenger terminal was constructed, measuring 2,600 square metres. Furthermore, it is completed with a taxiway, parallel to the runway, and rapid exit taxiways.

In February 1966, the airport easements were published and construction works to extend the runway by 200 metres and other complementary works were approved. On the 3rd March 1967, Gerona - Costa Brava Airport was opened to domestic and international civilian passenger and cargo air traffic. The airport was classified as first administrative category.

In 1969, the aircraft parking facilities were enlarged and the taxiway was extended to the departure points of the runway. That same year, due to the increase in traffic volume, the building works for a new terminal were initiated, the parking apron was enlarged and a new rapid exit taxiway constructed. These works were completed in 1972. In 1975, the airport was closed to traffic to extend and adapt the runway to the necessities of large jet aircraft. The aircraft parking facilities were also increased and a fire and rescue building was constructed.

In the 1970s, the airport experienced a surge in passenger traffic, due particularly to summer charter flights. From 1978, scheduled flights were redirected to Barcelona and tourist flights to other Mediterranean destinations. This led to a decrease in traffic figures, especially after 1983, when passenger figures reached 830,000. Since 2003, due to the arrival of low-cost airlines, Gerona Airport has been enjoying spectacular growth, culminating in over 3.5 million passengers in 2006.

For further information, you can purchase the work of Javier Ortega and Luis Utrilla, Historia del Aeropuerto de Girona-Costa Brava.