Girona-Costa Brava Airport is an airport located 12 km south of the city of Girona, next to the small village of Vilobí d”Onyar, in the north-east of Catalonia, Spain. It is well connected to the Costa Brava, Barcelona and the Pyrenees.
The airport was built in 1965, but passenger traffic was modest. The early 2000s saw passenger numbers grow spectacularly after Ryanair chose Girona as one of its European hubs. In 1993, Girona Airport dealt with only 275,000 passengers; but in the last six years the number of passengers increased ten times from 557,000 in 2002 to 5,507,000 in 2008.
Many people use Girona Airport as an alternative airport for Barcelona, though the airport is 92 km (57.5 miles) north of Barcelona. Passengers can transfer to Barcelona by bus or taxi from the airport, or by train from Girona railway station.
To and around the airport
Girona Airport is convenient for the resorts along the Costa Brava, such as Lloret de Mar, l”Estartit and Blanes. It is about a 40 minute drive from the French border and many people use Girona Airport as a way of getting to the Pyrenees and the ski resorts of Andorra.
The airport is served by three main roads:
- E-15/AP-7 toll road (Perpignan, France – south of Spain)
- C-25 (Lleida – Girona)
- N-II, no-toll road (Madrid – Barcelona – Perpignan, France)
There are 5 bus lines operating in the airport:
- Airport – Barcelona (1 hour 10 minutes, departure times depending on flights. On Sunday the last bus leaves Barcelona at 7.15pm)
- Airport – Costa Brava/Maresme (Stops at Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar, Blanes, Malgrat de Mar, Santa Susanna, Pineda de Mar and Calella de la Costa)
- Airport – North Costa Brava (Stops at Figueres, Roses, Pineda de Mar, Calella de la Costa and Tossa de Mar)
- Airport – Girona (25 minutes, one every hour).
- Airport – Perpignan in France. Frogbus. 6 times daily. Stops at Le Boulou.
There is no train station at the airport. The closest one is in Girona city. There is a project to build a station for the future AVE line LGV Perpignan-Figueres, currently under construction.
Accidents and incidents
On 14 September 1999, at 21:47 UTC, a Boeing 757-204 charter flight from Cardiff, Wales, UK, with 236 passengers and 9 crew left the runway when landing in a storm and broke apart. After leaving the runway, it ran 343 meters across flat grassland beside the runway, before going diagonally over a substantial earth mound adjacent to the airport boundary, becoming semi-airborne as a result. Beyond the mound it hit and severed a number of medium sized trees and the right engine struck the boundary fence. The aircraft then yawed considerably to the right, passed through the fence, re-landed in a field and both main landing gears collapsed. It finally stopped after a 244 meter slide across the field.
Damage was substantial: the fuselage was broken in two places and the landing gear and both engines detached. Remarkably, there were no immediate fatalities but 44 people, including the aircraft”s captain, received hospital treatment for severe to minor injuries.
Read more about the Britannia Airways Flight 226A.