The Commercial Air Lines Programme, introduced by the government in January 1928, states the general interest for public use of the Vigo-A Coruña-Gijon-Santander-Bilbao-San Sebastian line and vice-versa. Just one month later, on 24 February, another royal decree paved the way for use of the port at A Coruña for hydro-aviation purposes, indicating this as a temporary measure until such a time as it became possible to build a terrestrial airport for the city. Nevertheless, neither of dispositions led to air traffic in A Coruña and, for a variety of reasons, the airport did not become a reality until the 1960s.
The founding of the Santiago Flying Club and promotion of the construction of the Labacolla airport, inaugurated in 1935, plus orographic and meteorological difficulties in the A Coruña area, are just some of the reasons that help to explain the delay in the construction of the city's airport. The first airport project for the city was approved by the Council of Ministers on 11 September 1953 and included the construction of an airfield on the Alvedro plateau, adequate for the construction of a Type C Aerodrome, the project being classified as urgent. Subsequent projects included the construction of an apron and passenger terminal to the west of the airfield.
In 1961, a radiobeacon and the electrogenous equipment at the power plant were installed and, the following year, construction began on the terminal, the runway signalling and development in the terminal control area. Construction of the control tower commenced at the end of 1962 and was terminated the following year, during which a service building was also constructed. Road connections between the airport and A Coruña and Santiago were the responsibility of the provincial authorities, and works were conducted throughout 1962. It was also during this year that the Flight Protection Directorate completed the navigational aid facilities for the airport.
Opening to civil traffic
The A Coruña–Alvedro airport opened to domestic civil air traffic by virtue of a decree passed in May 1963. The official inauguration took place on 25 May, coinciding with the first flight of the Madrid-A Coruña line by the commercial airline Aviaco.
During the winter of 1964 the Vigo-A Coruña-Santander-San Sebastian-Barcelona line was inaugurated, serviced by Convair 440 aeroplanes. This experience lasted for just one year and was reinitiated in 1971 with F-027 aeroplanes, again with only very limited success. The airport received its first charter flights, from Switzerland and London, towards the end of the 1960s. In November 1979 a customs office was created at the A Coruña airport, permitting the processing of customs clearance for both passengers and cargo.
In 1986, the southern departure point was expanded on the airport runway and, in 1987, a by-pass was built for the N-550 motorway, which made it possible to extend the runway at the northern departure point. Two years later, in May 1989, the airport was closed to traffic to carry out a series of works leading amongst other things to the rotation of the airfield orientation by one degree and twelve minutes. A PAPI visual aid landing system was installed on the new runway, followed in December by an ILS system.
The airport reopened to traffic on 28 April 1990 and on 11 May scheduled flights to Madrid and Barcelona were launched, initially serviced by DC-9 aeroplanes and subsequently by Aviaco's MD-88 model.
In 1994 the number of passengers handled at A Coruña airport rose dramatically to 259,000, leading to the decision to construct a new terminal building, develop the surrounding area and expand the apron. On 19 December 1995, the new facilities were opened, including the new terminal and an aircraft parking apron.
Since then, Aena has carried out and put into service a number of actions, such as the expansion of the passenger terminal, with the installation of airbridges, and the extension of the apron. Furthermore, in 2001, the cargo terminal became operational.