In 1910, after the celebration in Barcelona of the first motorised flight, enthusiasm was aroused in Sabadell and a number of fans from the Catalonian city organised an aeronautic exhibition in the premises of the Centro Catalán. Furthermore, the mayor of Sabadell asked the Association of Air Locomotion (ALA) to visit the city with the idea of locating an aerodrome there. The commission visited the city but the project did not get off the ground.
In 1919, the first aircraft operation took place at Sabadell. The Catalan aviator Manuel Colomer made an emergency landing in the upper part of the city, now known as Creu Alta. A week later, pilot Joseph Canudas and Manuel Colomer himself decided to thank the city of Sabadell for their warm welcome, for which they flew to the city in two aeroplanes, a TH-E-3 Alfaro and a TH-E-2 Alfaro, and landed on an improvised landing strip on the Can Diviu estate, where the airport is now located.
Between 1925 and 1927 the first airfield was built, to the northeast of the city, on land known as Can N'Oriac. The pilot Joan Bonamusa began to use this airfield with his biplane Harriot, as well as some Sabadell gliding enthusiasts. On 2 August 1931, to mark Sabadell's Festa Major annual festivities, the first aeronautic festival was celebrated in Camp N'Oriac in collaboration with the City Council and Aeronáutica Naval (naval aeronautics organisation)
These events led a group of enthusiasts to form the Sabadell del Vallés Flying Club, whose first chairman, Antonio Campmajó, took on the old project of creating a new, larger air field. The city's mayor, Salvador Ribé, became interested in the project, and in 1932, offered the Ministry of War the land necessary to set up an airfield. On 25 September 1932, the government authorised the Ministry of War to accept the transfer of these lands, following which terrain was selected from the properties known as Can Diviu, Can Torres and Can Miró. In 1933, Commander Engineer Miguel Ramírez de Cartagena designed the technical project. The land was subsequently cleared and levelled and on 4 August a major aeronautics festival was held there, organised by Sabadell Flying Club.
Inauguration of the aerodrome
On 1 August 1934, the Sabadell aerodrome was inaugurated for use by both military and civil aviation. Between 12 and 19 August, the Catalonian Sailing Federation organised the 3rd Gliding, in which 36 flying machines took part. After the start of the civil war, the Aeronáutica Naval assembly shops were set up in Sabadell, completing in these facilities the first 230 of a series of 300 Polikarpov I-15 aircraft. The remaining aircraft were finished after the war, in what was called the Parque Eventual de Sabadell (auxiliary workshop facilities), where the Air Force I-15s were also serviced and repaired until the 1950s.
In 1949 the International Air Festival was held at the Sabadell aerodrome. In 1953 the Barcelona-Sabadell Flying Club was set up, product of the merger of the Barcelona and Sabadell flying clubs, and from this point on aeronautic activity became more important. In 1954 the Ministry of Air officially accepted the cession of the aerodrome, which had an area of 76 hectares. The airfield was originally used for military aviation. For this purpose, two hangars had been built as well as a repair shop, stores, fuel tanks, accommodation for officers and the troops and a main building where the control tower was also located.
In 1963 the aeronautical limitations were established, which were to be modified in September 1964 when the 12-30 runway was opened for service.
On 1 January 1979, Sabadell aerodrome was opened up to national and international air traffic.
For further information, you can purchase the work of José Fernández and Luis Utrilla, Historia del Aeropuerto de Sabadell.
With the help of