Aena — TRAVEL
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At the beginning of the 21st century, Aena decided to build a civil heliport for passenger travel in the Algeciras bay to meet the growing number of passengers, currently 2.5 million, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar either to or from Algeciras.
Preliminary studies commenced in 2005. Up to six possible locations capable of holding a heliport the same size as that of Ceuta were initially considered, both in and outside the town and the port area, including the so-called Isla Verde extension.
Finally, based on criteria including aircraft operation requirements, compatibility with the use of the port - the busiest in Spain - noise impact, and the accessibility and convenience of the future passengers, the space occupied by the existing car park at the marine terminal was chosen. This is also the centre of ferry operations across the Strait of Gibraltar.
Once the site was chosen, the environmental impact statement was submitted and approved at the start of 2009, after favourable reports from the Forestry directorate of the Ministry of the Environment, the Coastal Authority, the Regional Government of Andalusia's departments of the Environment and of Cultural Assets, and the Town Council's Municipal Institute for Nature Conservation (Inmucona).
Construction of the heliport started on 27 February 2009. One month later, on 2 April, the land assignment contract between Aena and the Bahía de Algeciras Port Authority (APBA), owner of the site, was signed. Construction was completed in June 2010 and the first flight between Algeciras and the Ceuta took off from the heliport on 1 July.