History

The history of aviation in Majorca began on 2 July 1916 with the landing of an aircraft piloted by Hedilla at Prado de Son Sunyer. Just a few years later, in the Spring of 1921, the pilot Manuel Colomer performed several air shows with an Aviatick aircraft at the airfields of Son San Juan, first, and then later Son Bonet.

Whilst the first of these airfields was used as a commercial aviation airport, Colomer set up a private aerodrome at Son Bonet, which he and other of his pilot colleagues used for air baptisms and trips across the island. In May 1935, a pilots'school belonging to the Palma de Mallorca Flying Club was inaugurated.

After the start of the civil war, Iberia - which provided airline services nationally - extended its Salamanca-Burgos-Zaragoza route as far as Majorca on 11 July 1936. Iberia used the Junkers Ju-52 aircraft ,which operated from the aerodrome of Son Bonet as San Juan was being used for military aviation. This route became the Vitoria-Barcelona-Palma route in February 1939, and the Vitoria-Zaragoza-Barcelona-Palma route two months later.

Son Bonet became a Customs airport in May 1946 and was officially opened to national and international traffic in July That year, 18,000 passengers used the scheduled Valencia-Palma route served by Iberia. By then, Son Bonet had two bare earth landing strips, a small control tower with earth/air communications and a radio goniometer.

First renovations

By 1953, air traffic had multiplied by ten and the airport underwent the first renovations with the installation of runway lighting on one of the runways and approach lights at both headers. The small terminal building now possessed a permanent Customs and police service as well as taxi and tram transport. Permanent opening to air traffic in Son Bonet took place in April 1955.

One year later work was started on the first extension of the airfield and, in 1957, on the extension of the travellers' station. That year and the following year, almost two dozen non-scheduled airlines flew to Palma. In 1961 there were more than fifty.

The increase in traffic and the impossibility of extending Son Bonet led to the construction of a large commercial airport on the air station of Son San Juan. In July 1959, after the publication of the aeronautical limitations of Son Bonet, commercial traffic was moved from this airport to Son San Juan.

In October 1989, the aerodrome of Son Bonet, which was recognised as an important airport for national defence and managed by the Spanish Civil Aviation Authority, was integrated in the Organismo Autónomo Aeropuertos Nacionales (National Airports Autonomous Organisation), the precursor of Aena. This organisation was thereafter responsible for its management, conservation and administration as a non-controlled third class airport, in which the general and sporting aviation of Majorca is now established.