Bilbao Airport (BIO)
History, Facts and Overview
(Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain)
Bilbao Airport first came into being in 1934, although plans for a local aerodrome had been afoot for almost ten years. Based within the town of Sondika, the airport was close to mountains and therefore not considered to be the ideal location, and so was used mainly for military purposes. By the late 1940s, it had been decided to redevelop Sondika Airport for civilian flights and soon after, regular flights to Madrid began.
At this stage, another runway was built, along with an airport control tower and terminal building for passengers. The 1960s and 1970s saw extensions and resurfacing of the runways, additional parking spaces and a new link road and in 1997, a further runway measuring 2,600 metres / 8,530 feet was built. Cargo flights were becoming an increasingly important part of air traffic at Bilbao Airport and during the 1980s, a large cargo terminal arrived.
During the 1990s, many major improvements were made at Bilbao Airport (BIO), modernising the facilities on offer. A definite highlight at the turn of the millennium was the airport's new terminal, located within the north zone and designed to resemble two long white wings.
Facilities at Bilbao Airport include plenty of airport and tourist information desks, eight ATM machines, a currency exchange booth, and an extensive retail area next to the check-in department. The main shops include Aldeasa, Aeroshops, Dufry, Les Boutiques, Relay and the Sibarium delicatessen. Bilbao Airport also boasts an excellent selection of eateries, most of which are located within the 'Zona Pública', such as Cafeteria Derio and the Restaurate Gernika.