First promulgated in 1976 the new airport at Huelva, capital city of the south westerly Spanish province of the same name, has finally been given the green light. Talks officially began in 1999, but this year the Spanish Ministry of Development has approved a private company, Agricola el Pintado SL, to build a 350 hectare facility valued at 150 million euros.
Huelva province encompasses the western Costa de la Luz, Spain’s sunniest coastline bordering the Portuguese Algarve, a region now witnessing phenomenal growth in tourism and real estate, but previously accessed by air only via Faro, Portugal, or Seville, the latter being over an hour and a half’s driving from resorts such as El Rompido and Nuevo Portil.
An airport at Huelva will reduce this time to as little as 15 minutes and it could be operational by 2012.
A local real estate specialist comments that Huelva is the fastest growing destination for golf tourism in Spain and mega golf resorts such as Costa Esuri, fringed with residential property, are attracting thousands more visitors to our striking coastline, with its pine-backed sandy beaches and stringent environmental standards.
An additional international airport is both logical and intrinsic to the coast’s future growth.
A current viability study states that Huelva has the lowest percentage of foreign visitors compared to other coastal provinces of Andalucia. It states that the lack of air access for these types of tourists limits the tourism growth of the province.
This leaves Malaga, Cadiz and the Portuguese Algarve with a competitive advantage, but this is to change.
A 2,400m runway for intercontinental flights will replace the existing 700m runway accommodating an estimated 1.5m passengers during the first operational decade.
With no-frills air services from Europe, Huelva would flourish.