EU Summit Closes Granada Airport for Exclusive Use

EU Summit Closes Granada Airport for Exclusive Use

DALLAS — The upcoming European Union summit, scheduled to take place in Granada, Spain, on Thursday, October 5, 2023, will result in a complete halt of all arrivals into Federico García Lorca Airport (GRX) during the event.

The decision from the national airport authority, Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA), states that all commercial flights are prohibited on that day, allowing only the presidential aircraft carrying the leaders of the member nations of the EU to use the airport. This means that around 40 aircraft in total will have exclusive access to the airfield.

AENA has been working on this operation for several months and has coordinated with the airlines to ensure a smooth closure of the airport. The airlines have been informed in advance about the closure so that they can adjust their flight schedules accordingly. Initially, the EU summit would affect 12 flights, including 11 domestic routes and one international flight from London-Gatwick (LGW).

Despite the notice and airport closure, it seems that the Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling (VY) is still selling tickets for flights to Granada from its major national hubs.

With six total flights to Granada that day, Vueling is the most affected airline by the EU summit. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways.

A Spacious “Private” Airport for the EU Summit

The Granada airport is relatively small compared to others in Spain, ranking as the 25th largest in terms of passenger traffic. On average, it receives just over 900,000 passengers per year.

Despite its size, the airport accommodates dozens of daily flights and plays a crucial role as an entry point to the city, particularly for travelers connecting from Latin America with Iberia (IB). However, due to the extraordinary circumstances of the European Union summit, the airport will be closed to commercial traffic and exclusively reserved for the arrival of European leaders.

This decision may seem unusual for an airport of this size, but it is necessary to ensure the safety and separation of unknown passengers from commercial flights. As GRX is the only suitable location for the arrival of all presidential aircraft in Granada, it is logical to take this precautionary measure.

To minimize any inconvenience for affected customers, airlines such as Iberia (IB), Air Europa (UX), Binter (NT), Ryanair (FR), and Volotea (V7) have already provided alternative transportation plans. Customers have the option to arrive in Granada either the day before or after the summit, allowing them to avoid any disruptions caused by the arrival of the European leaders.

Featured image: AENA

Deputy Reporter - Europe & Middle East
Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

You cannot copy content of this page