As anticipated in this blog, Castellón airport was expected to start operations yesterday. And so they did. In a piece published by 20Minutos, they informed that the final permit was received from AESA – the Spanish air safety agency – on Wednesday. Thus, Castellón airport is already operational and, in fact, yesterday the first flight landed there. It was a helicopter with two passengers on board. They flew from a nearby airfield, 10 minutes long to the brand new airport. Apparently, they read in the press that the airport was starting operations, so “we filed the flight plan, we got it approved and here we are”. The flight was executed “in the best possible conditions”.
Castellón airport will have their first scheduled commercial flight in March 2015, four years after its inauguration. Charter flights might start before that date. This is what the airport director, Alain Russel, explained to the journalists. The airport opening times will be Wednesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 18:00 local time. This is from 08:00 to 16:00 UTC in summer and from 0900 to 1700 UTC in winter. However, in the case that one of the airlines they currently are in conversation with, required a different timetable, they would have to wait for 2 months to get the corresponding authorisation.
They are expecting to serve 35,000 passengers within the first year of operations. Even though Russel did not confirm whether or not there are agreements with airlines, he said they are negotiating with “more than one, but it is up to them to announce their flights”. Furthermore, he said the staff is currently made up of 27 people, but it will increase to reach 50 employees when the commercial flights begin operating.
A long time ago, in June 2011, LasProvincias.es informed that the IATA code for the airport had been fixed as CDT. Now, as Enaire has just published the AIP, the ICAO code has been confirmed as LECH, contrary to different media source information. In spite of the fact that the Air Traffic Control corresponds to Enaire, Castellón airport is not managed by Aena but by SNC-Lavalin. According to the information from the above mentioned AIP, the ramp handling will be provided by LESMA.
Photo: Castellón airport Terminal by Sanbec / Wikimedia Commons.