Murcia Corvera Airport replaced Murcia San Javier Airport on January 15th 2019 for all passenger flights into the Murcia region. Murcia International is located 25km to the south of Murcia city centre and is the closest airport to the Costa Calida and the southern Costa Blanca holiday regions.
When the tourist money came rolling into Spain before the recession hit back in 2008, large numbers of construction projects in both the private and public sectors were financed by the banks eager to cash in on foreign investment.
Much of the investment in Spain was financed privately as speculators anticipated an endless stream of euro-tourists and property investors flooding into the country. Then in 2008 the recession hit Spain, leaving the Spanish banks saddled with huge debts and toxic assets as newly built tourist houses and developments lay half-finished or empty, loans went unpaid, and investment and construction companies went to the wall. One of these half-finished projects was Murcia's new airport at Corvera.
Construction work at Corvera commenced in back in 2008. The new airport was heralded as the gateway to another of the regions "manana" projects, the Paramount Theme Park which was expected to attract millions of European tourists to Murcia. However, the financial downturn in Spain left the Paramount Theme Park, Corvera Airport and a host of other development projects in a holding pattern.
The process for closing Murcia's existing airport at San Javier and transferring passenger flights to Corvera has not been straight-forward. There were many opponents to the scheme, including foreign residents who live close to San Javier and local airport workers. After years of legal wrangling the bid to operate Corvera Airport was won in 2017 by AENA who operate most of Spain's passenger airports.
The city of Murcia in south eastern Spain lies equidistant between Alicante Airport to the north and Murcia (San Javier) airport to the south. Both airports can be reached from the city of Murcia in under an hour. So why was a brand new "state of the art" airport constructed just outside Murcia in near the small town of Corvera?
There were several factors influencing the decision to build Corvera Airport. Firstly, San Javier airport is a small airport which doubles as a military airport. Facilities are often overstretched during the busy summer months when passenger numbers are at their peak (this problem has been partially resolved following some major refurbishment at San Javier Airport).
The second factor was the planning of a new theme park licenced by Paramount which was due to start construction in 2013. It was envisaged that Murcia San Javier airport would not be able to handle the huge number of additional tourists which the theme park would attract, so in part the new airport was supposed to service the new influx of visitors to the region.
Additionally, Alicante Airport often runs at full-capacity in summer, and it makes sense for passengers heading to Murcia and the Costa Calida to fly further south to minimise airport transfers.
The Murcian authorities are hoping that Corvera Airport will eventually bring more tourists to the Murcia region giving a much-needed cash injection to the economy.
The development of Corvera Airport has been badly affected by the impact of COVID with most commercial passenger flights being cancelled. It is anticipated that the airport will become more developed for freight with Amazon contstructing a large distribution centre close to the airport in 2020.
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