Teruel Industrial Airport is celebrating its tenth anniversary as a living example of how an ambitious vision can transform a region’s economy and employment. Although it has no commercial flights or passengers, this airport has become an outstanding reference in Europe for its aircraft parking, maintenance and recycling facilities.
A decade of success.
This year marks ten years since the first aircraft landed at the Teruel Airport Platform (PLATA) on March 25, 2013. This ambitious project, proposed by former President Marcelino Iglesias, has proven to be a success over time. Once the current expansion work is completed, this airport will be positioned as the third largest in Spain, surpassed only by Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat.
Despite initial skepticism about the idea of having an airport without passengers, during these ten years Teruel has been the scene of 18,176 air operations involving a wide variety of aircraft, from private jets to helicopters and air cabs. These operations have generated around 400 direct jobs and three times as many indirect jobs, consolidating their positive impact on the local economy.
A future of sustainable growth.
Recent expansions, which will increase the size of the airport by 200 hectares, are evidence of continued growth. This additional development will not only increase the airport’s operational capacity, but will also generate a significant number of jobs.
In the context of “empty Spain”, where the province of Teruel faces particular economic challenges, projects such as this play a key role in revitalizing the local economy and creating new job opportunities.
Efficient management through public partnership.
The Airport Management Association, led by the Government of Aragon (60%) and Teruel City Council (40%), has played a key role in PLATA’s continued success. Under the chairmanship of José Luis Soro, the current Minister of Territory, Mobility and Housing, this association has worked closely with key partners such as Tarmac (a subsidiary of Airbus), being seen as partners rather than just clients.
Companies such as PLD Space, Elson Space España and Delsat International have found in Teruel a favorable environment for testing rocket engines and developing drones, contributing to the diversification of activities at the airport.
A promising future with new facilities.
The record of 127 aircraft parked in 2021, despite the COVID pandemic, will soon be surpassed thanks to expansion plans. This expansion will include the construction of new hangars, such as one for painting and another for maintenance, which will be the largest of its kind in Spain. In addition, PLATA airport will host the European stratospheric base for earth observation and telecommunications of Sceye, a U.S. company specializing in materials science and the development of high-altitude platforms.
These new facilities will not only strengthen the airport’s position in the aerospace industry, but will also generate 135 direct jobs and 540 indirect jobs, further contributing to Teruel’s sustainable growth.
In conclusion, these ten years of Teruel Airport are a time to celebrate not only the successes of the past, but also a promising future. Innovation, diversification and commitment to sustainable development will continue to be fundamental pillars.