Madrid-Barajas Airport is the biggest and the busiest international airport in Spain. It was opened in 1928. Its name derives from the name of the district where it is located – Barajas, 9 km from Madrid’s financial district. In 2008 Madrid-Barajas Airport was named the Best Airport by Condé Nast Awards. In the year 2009 it was recognized as Europe’s 4th busiest airport and the world’s 11th busiest airport. According to the statistics about 50 million passengers used Madrid-Barajas airport in 2010.
Barajas Airport has 4 runways: 2 on the northwest-southeast axis and 2 on the north-south axis. The four runways allow constant takeoffs and landings into the airport. Thus there are takeoffs or landings almost every 30 seconds. Thus the airport is able to make more than 120 operations per hour.
Madrid Barajas Airport also boasts of having one of the biggest airport terminals in the world – Terminal 4. It was designed by Richard Rogers and Antonio Lamella and built by Ferrovial. It consists of two buildings: the satellite building and the main building. The Terminal 4 started to serve the flights in February 2006.
It is originally designed to serve about seventy million passengers every year. Terminal 4 is home to Oneworld partner airlines, Air Nostrum and Iberia while Terminals 1, 2, 3 – Air Europe, Star Alliance airlines and SkyTeam. Gate numbers of the terminals 1, 2 and 3 go from A1 to E89 only in terminal 4 the gates are numbered separately.
There are seven public parking areas in the airport provided for a long and short-term car parking. There are VIP car parks available for every passenger and a free shuttle operating between a long-term car parks and all terminals.
Thanks to a comfortable and regular public transport, getting in and from the airport is pretty easy. There are two ways you can do it and it’s either by bus or metro.
There is also a regular public bus between the airport and the city. Besides the terminals, the bus also drops passengers off on the main rail station in Madrid - Renfe's Atocha Station.
Another option is getting to or from the airport by metro. There is a Madrid metro line that connects the airport with Madrid’s central stations. The Barajas Line 8 connects the underground stations at Terminal 1, 2, 3 and Terminal 4 and brings passengers into the very heart of Madrid.
Since October 2006 it became possible to get from Madrid Barajas International Airport to AVE high-speed train stations. There is nowadays a Cercanías Line that links Terminal 4 with Atocha AVE high-speed train stations and Chamartín Station.