In October 1932, a group of aviation enthusiasts decided to set up a flying club in Santiago de Compostela. On 28 December, the first board of directors was formed, which two years later would select the land for the establishment of an aerodrome in the area called Crucero Bonito, in the municipality of Lavacolla.
In the initial stage of the works, which began in 1935, the land was levelled and compacted for three landing areas which would form a triangle of runways with dimensions of 1,100 x 200 metres, 900 x 150 metres and 600 x 125 metres, respectively.
Despite the military nature acquired by the Lavacolla aerodrome at the beginning of the Civil War, an Airport Council was created in February 1937, with the purpose of establishing an air route to the city. Scheduled commercial services began on 27 September 1937, with the Santiago-Salamanca-Valladolid-Zaragoza air route.
It was opened to domestic and international civil traffic and technical stopovers for commercial traffic on 30 June 1947. A simple wooden hut served as protection for travellers against inclement weather.
In the summer of 1948, works began to asphalt the north-south runway. The taxiway and parking were built between 1953 and 1954, when a communications centre was erected and an omnidirectional radio beacon was installed to improve navigational aids.
In 1958, the airport runway lights were put into service. A portable ILS locator was installed at departure point 35 and a radio beacon placed at number 17. The power plant was built in the spring of the same year. In 1961, VOR equipment was installed.
During the three-year period between 1964-1967, runway 36/18 was expanded, an ILS was installed, the firefighting complex was built, the taxiway and apron were improved and enlarged and a new control tower and a new passenger terminal were constructed.
In 1981, a cargo terminal was built and enlarged two years later. In 1982, customs service was established for the passengers and luggage, later extended to the import and export of merchandise.
The passenger terminal, built in 1969, has been enlarged on several occasions. In 1993, it was also equipped with a Cat II/III ILS which enables it to operate aircraft in low visibility conditions and thus significantly reduce detours and cancellations due to adverse weather conditions (fog and low cloud).
The airport has one runway and an aircraft apron with a specific area for general aviation.
If you would like more information, you can acquire the work by Luis Utrilla, Historia del Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela (History of Santiago de Compostela Airport).
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