The land in an area called "Es Codolá" was prepared as a temporary military airfield at the beginning of the Civil War. Following the conflict, the installations were maintained as an emergency military airfield.
In 1949, by Ministerial Order of 13 August, the Es Codolá airport was opened to national and international civil tourist air traffic, as well as for technical stopovers for international traffic. However, the airfield lacked proper installations and was closed two years later.
The development of air transport in neighbouring islands, especially in Majorca, moved local authorities to request the construction of an airport in Ibiza, through a Board specifically created for such purpose. The fruit of the labours of this Board was a declaration in November 1954 of the urgency of the expansion works at Es Codolá airport, for their expropriation. Work began in summer 1958 with a budget of barely 500,000 ptas. The first task was to refurbish the barracks to provide a location for airport services and a travellers' lounge.
On 1 April 1958, the Aviaco company began its Ibiza-Palma and Ibiza-Barcelona flights, using Bristol 170 aircraft. Iberia followed afterwards and began service to Barcelona and Valencia on July 10th of the same year, using DC-3 aircraft. The Valencia flights were soon extended to Madrid, which made it possible to link Ibiza with the capital in just a few hours, three times a week.
The first stage of the runway works began in the summer of 1960. During this same period, installation began of a control tower, which had been dismantled at the Palma de Majorca airport and transported to Ibiza.
In September 1961 new expropriations were begun to expand the airport, which reopened officially to traffic in October, this time to domestic traffic only, with a third class administrative classification.
In 1962 the extension works on the runway began. This work was insufficient, since the increase in air traffic and the arrival of jet engine aircraft required a total reform of the airport.
In June 1964, a VHF radiogoniometer was installed in the airport control tower and further land was expropriated to extend the runway. Lighting was installed for the first time on the runway and aircraft platform. At the same time, work began on the passenger terminal building, which was built with the "provisional" classification.
The airport opens to International traffic
On 15 July 1966 Ibiza Airport opened to international traffic and customs with 24 hour operation. This allowed the arrival of the first non-stop international flights and, in 1967, reclassification with a first class rating.
Continuing growth in traffic required even greater investment in airport infrastructures. In 1971, work began to expand aircraft parking, the taxiway and the "non-regular traffic modular station". Work on the new terminal was completed in 1973. The building, completed in 1973, was used at first as an international terminal and did not include domestic traffic until a year later. The old building was converted into an airport technical and administrative centre.
Throughout the 1970s aircraft parking was expanded, a new access to the terminal building was built and the airstrip was adapted to handle Boeing 747s. Between 1984 and 1985 the passenger terminal was completely remodelled, and the aircraft parking was expanded in 1988.
In 2002 the check-in area and waiting lounges, both for arrivals and departures, were extended, while the year 2004 saw the implementation of a new car park for hire vehicles.
Airport traffic is currently experiencing a sharp increase which is having a very positive effect on the economic development of the island.
For further information, you can purchase the work of Luis Utrilla, Historia del Aeropuerto de de Ibiza .