James Morris - Feb 11, 2024
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The Spanish government plans to invest over two billion euros to expand the Madrid Barajas airport to increase its capacity to 90 million passengers by 2031. It is not the only airport planning to invest in the coming years. Several European airports have announced substantial developments.

Madrid Barajas aims to become the largest airport in Europe, surpassing London Heathrow, which served around 80 million passengers last year. The expansion is expected to create around 60,000 additional jobs and strengthen Madrid's leading role as a European Latin American hub while expanding its reach into Asia as a second pillar. This will include the addition of new airlines to the airport.

Frankfurt Airport is set to open Terminal 3 in 2026, which will be capable of handling up to 19 million more passengers. Additionally, another terminal is being planned in Paris. The number of passengers at Charles de Gaulle Airport is expected to be between 107 and 126 million by 2037.

Athens Airport is also planning to expand, as last year it served nearly 2.2 million more passengers (28.2 million in total) than its maximum capacity. This represents a ten percent increase from 2019, the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic. A plan for expanding in three stages is underway to accommodate the growth.

The final stage, expected to be completed by 2045, will increase passenger capacity of 50 million. The first expansion phase began in 2018 but was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic and has resumed. The expansion will include an increase in the terminal area by 81,000 square meters, the creation of new boarding areas, an enlargement of the check-in area, and an expansion of the baggage claim area.

On the airside, 32 new parking positions for aircraft will be created, along with taxiways. The public road network will be expanded on the land side, and another parking garage will be built. The project is expected to take around three years and cost approximately 650 million euros.

The second expansion phase will begin when the airport handles around 31.35 million passengers. With an expected growth rate of five percent per year, this threshold could be reached as early as 2027.

The third stage will begin when passenger volumes reach 36 million, and it is anticipated that an increase to 38 million can be expected within two years. At this point, another terminal currently home to a long-term parking lot will be constructed on the site. There currently needs to be a cost estimate for this phase of expansion.

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