100th anniversary of the airport

On 2 September 2019, Malaga-Costa del Sol airport, the longest-serving airport in Spain, celebrated its first 100 years of public service.

Following the publication in the Gaceta de Madrid on 30 August of the Royal Order signed by King Alfonso XIII authorising the first Spanish airline, on 2 September 1919 a Bréguet 14 aircraft from the Compagnie Aériennes Latécoère landed on the grounds of the farmhouse of El Rompedizo, where the French company had established its aerodrome. At the helm was Didier Daurat, who weeks later would become the first director of Malaga’s airport. This flight inaugurated air transport in Spain.

The republican newspaper, El Popular, announced the news as follows: “In aviation. Yesterday afternoon one of the airplanes that provide the postal service from Toulouse to Rabat and Casablanca arrived in Malaga, landing at eight thirty in the place called “El Rompedizo”. Coming from Alicante, the correspondence included letters addressed to the main authorities of Malaga. Before the landing, which was done smoothly, the device flew over the capital, as the people who heard the noise produced by the engine witnessed its transit through the air. It crossed over the Park shortly after the end of the bullfight and the public watched with natural admiration the passage of the aircraft. Today it will leave for Cadiz first thing”.

 

Since 8 March of that year, the Latécoère company had been working on improving the terrain, levelling it and eliminating trees and shrubs that would allow the safe landing of the fragile biplanes of wood and fabric. A canvas hangar next to the farmhouse served as a workshop and shelter for pilots, mechanics and the few passengers on the line. The landing at El Rompedizo of the first two planes of the line was carried out with no problems, shortly after ten o’clock in the morning. The French consul, Louis Marius Santi, was waiting for them at the airport in Malaga. He wanted to accompany Daurat on his flight to Rabat, which would make him the first passenger of the airline, Malaga airport and air transport in Spain.

At eleven o’clock in the morning, the Breguets took off from Malaga for Rabat. From there they flew to Casablanca, where Daurat landed at half past three in the afternoon, followed half an hour later by Dombray. These were the first flights of the first Spanish airline!

A hundred years have passed since that first flight. Since then, more than 400 million passengers have used its facilities and have turned Malaga airport into a key element in the development of Malaga, Andalusia and Spain.