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Oldest Malaga Airport History | Airport Growth | Military Period

Malaga Airport is the Spanish oldest Airport and stayed ion its original location.

Its beginnings were the 9th of March of 1919 while a Salmson 2A Airplane was over flying the city and finding a place where to land. This place was a Land called "El Rompedizo".

Pierre Latécoére was Its occupant , who for that time was looking for locations in Spain to install diferent aerodromes with the objective to establish a commercial airline, that would join France with its African Colonies through Spain and afterwards to South America.

After some test flights, the 1 of September of 1919, Didier Daurat, future First Director of Malaga aerodrome was inaugurating the regular services, Toulouse, Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga, Tanger, Casablanca.

In 1937, Malaga Airport was converted into a Military Base and on its ground were located the Air Force Schools of: the Crew, Observants and Specialist of the Air Force.

The 12 of July of 1946, the airport was opened to national and international traffic and costums classified. In 1948 the civil passengers station was inaugurated.


Malaga Airport in 1960 During 1960, the airport experiences radical big changes. The enlargement of the run way and the building of a parallel one, a new Passenger terminal, an Air traffic control tower and an Electric Power generator were the protects to built at that time.

These works were complemented with the installing of different navigation system: one VASIS, one VOR in 1965, AN ILS in 1966 and one RADAR in 1970.

El ROMPEDIZO or GARCIA MORATO were the names used to mention the old airport. In September of 1965 it is called officially AEROPUERTO de MALAGA, which actually still keeps. The new passenger Terminal was inaugurated the 29th of January of 1968, and intermediately were transfer the national and international services from the provisional station to the new one.

The growth of no regular flights obligate to built an specific Terminal called " modular station for none regular traffic". The new building is identical as the ones built in Palma, Girona, Alicante and Ibiza and were inaugurated the 30 of June of 1972.

The persistent growth of air traffic in the area brought the necessity to build another terminal that finally was inaugurated the 30 of November of 1991 with the name of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. It was designed by the architect Ricardo Bofia. The terminal has two levels, one for arrivals and the other one for departures which are connected operatively and physically to the old terminal.

To complete the Terminal, for the summer of 1995 was finished the building of a Parking which conects with the passenger terminal and i the car hire services.

In 1995 starts the rebuilding and restoration of the old passengers terminal, to be in the future the General Aviation Terminal. In the north area of the airport was build an hangar for the maintenance of big airplanes and next to it a Terminal for customs (merchandise). Both entered in service in 1996.

In 1997 was made a new enlargement of the airplanes parking and simulteneously was endowed with a fuel providing system for all positions associated with the telescopic runways.

In November of 2002, the airport gives another step with the inauguration of a new Control Tower , with the newest and latest technology and incorporates for the first time in a Tower the VICTOR system. This system allowes the visual presentation of all necessary details in a unique console which makes easier and quicker the operation work of the controller.

In 2004 was created the Malaga PLan: The building of a new terminal, a Parking and the enlargement of a new flight field. All that to attend the increasing number of passenger and the growing of tourism at the Costa del Sol.


The Military Period of Malaga Airport The 18 of July of 1936, at the beginnings of the Spanish Civil War, the airport was transformed in a Air force base under the command of Republican Don Abelardo Moreno Miró.

The republicans occupy the airport until their fall, the 8 of February of 1937 when the capital was taken by the national force. Immediately the aviation Campus was functioning under the direction of the national force and used for their own benefit..

Now a days the Air force Base of San Julián, Military Platform of Malaga Airport, is situated just in front of the civil terminal.

Unlike the republicans, the nationals used the Aerodrome for logistic and for only military support because of the moving away from the firing line. From the moment the franquistas took over the aerodrome they were any bombings anymore and no airplanes flew away with destructive objectives.

Because of its scarce activity, was decided to create a Tripulants, observations and Specialist School in view of the lack of this type of personal in the National Air force.

Don Francisco Iglesias Brage, the 9 of February of 1938, inaugurated the new Base, the 9 schools and a new Control Tower.

At that time there was a big variety of airplanes based at Malaga: Heinkel HE-46 y HE-43, Bucker BU-131 or Junkers JU-52. All of them destiny to the training missions of the Observatories, tripulants and specialists of the new Spanish Air force.

At the end of the Civil War the aerodrome acquires the condition of Military Air Base, and starts exclusively to operate from "el rompedizo" the Italian civil airline L'Ala Littoria.

In the fifties the Air Base suffers some changes on its denomination. The aviation campus was classified as permanent aerodrome in January 1950, but one year later was converted into an Air Base.

Also that year, was transfer the Specialist School to the Air Maestranza from León and in 1957 disapeares the Observatories School.

In 1959 was transfer to Malaga the Ala 27 from Morón de la Frontera, compound of an air fleet of 36 bombers Heinkel 111, which stay until 1967. Afterwards was build the 515 squadron, integrated by E-9 Iberavia, T-6 Texan and Junkers Ju-52 still on duty.

Three years after, arrives the squadron 205, but already some months after was dissolved. The last squadron should be the 515, dissolved in 1973. Since that year and and until today, that Base has the denomination of "Unidad Aérea de Apoyo Operativo".

Now a Days the Chief of the Air Base of San Julián is also Chief of the Air sector of Malaga and the Military Air Commandant's of Malaga Airport.

Inside its instalations is situated the Center of of Microwaves maintenance Nº22 depending of the squadron of icrowaves Nº2 of Seville, which has the mission to maintenance the Militar Comunications network.

Inside the Base are found permanently the Helicopters of the National Police and the Civil Guard, with temporal caracter, making presence every summer since the year 2000 with two airplanes in July and August end one in June and September of the 43 Group from the Air force, with Fire fighters Airplanes Canadair CL-215T, for the extinguishment of possible fires in all Anadalusia.

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