ENAIRE is the air navigation manager in Spain and Western Sahara, certified for the provision of en route, approach and aerodrome control services. As a public corporate entity attached to the Ministry for Public Works, it is responsible for air traffic control, aeronautical information and the Communication, navigation and surveillance networks necessary so that air companies and their aircraft can fly safely, fluidly and in an orderly manner within Spanish airspace.

It is the fourth largest air navigation service provider in Europe by volume of air traffic, with around 2 million flights per year. ENAIRE manages these 2.2 million square kilometres of airspace from 5 air control centres (Barcelona, Canary Islands, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Seville) and 21 control towers.

It looks after controlling a complex airspace of over 2,000,000 square km, comprising one continental area, one oceanic area and the airspace of the Western Sahara. It also handles flights entering Europe from America and Africa as Spain is the port of entry linking traffic from Africa and South America with Europe, and especially with Germany, France and the United Kingdom. ENAIRE provides a flexible service capable of adapting to the seasonal nature of air traffic in Spain, where there is a considerably larger number of flights in the summer season as Spain receives the third largest number of tourists in the world.

ENAIRE participates in projects of the European Union related to the implantation of the Single European Sky, such as the group A6[1] and the European joint undertaking iTEC (with Indra and the air navigation providers NATS (United Kingdom), DFS[2] (Germany), LVNL (Netherlands), Avinor (Norway), PANSA (Poland) and Oro Navigacija (Lithuania).[3] ENAIRE is also a full member of CANSO.

ENAIRE owns 51%[4] of the capital of Aena S.A., the world's largest airport manager, with a network of 46 airports and 2 heliports in Spain. These include Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat, Palma de Mallorca and Málaga-Costa del Sol. This network records more than 207 million passengers per year. In addition, Aena S.A. participates in the management of 15 further airports in the United Kingdom, Colombia and Mexico.[5]

Founded19 June 1991
Area served
Key people
Pedro Saura Garcia, Chairman
Servicesair traffic management
OwnerGovernment of Spain
Number of employees


Under the Act 09/2010, ENAIRE is the company designated by the State for the supply of air traffic services in the en-route and approach phases.

ENAIRE performs the following air navigation functions:

  • The planning, management, coordination, operation, maintenance and administration of air traffic, the services of telecommunications and aeronautical information, as well as the infrastructure, facilities and communications networks of the air navigation system.The aim is to ensure that the aircraft moving around Spanish airspace obtain the utmost security, fluidity, efficiency and punctuality.
  • The preparation and approval of different kinds of projects, as well as the implementation and management of investment control.
  • Evaluation of the needs and proposals for new infrastructure, as well as possible modifications to the structure of the airspace.
  • Participation in specific aeronautical training, subject to the concession of official licences.

ENAIRE provides air navigation services using the following equipment and installations:

ENAIRE performs the national and international operational coordination of the Spanish air traffic management network through efficient airspace management, taking into account respect for the environment and the needs of users.

These services are provided from the five regional directorates of ENAIRE: Centre-North, East, South, Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, whose headquarters lie respectively in the control centres (ACC) of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Gran Canaria and Palma de Mallorca.


In 1958, under the Act of 26 December 1958, the National Airports Executive was created as a corporation of public law of an autonomous nature, attached to the Air Ministry, which, as a consequence of the Act of 26 December 1958, on the Juridical Regime for Autonomous State Entities, became the Autonomous National Airport Authority (OAAN).

As a consequence of the Air Navigation Act, the Autonomous National Airport Authority (OAAN) was created, attached to the Air Ministry and dependent on the Subsecretariat for Civil aviation. In 1963 the Subsecretariat for Civil aviation was created within the Air Ministry (still a military authority), to which the OAAN (Autonomous National Airport Authority) was attached.

Spain signed an agreement with Eurocontrol as an associate state in 1972. The Autonomous National Airport Authority, dependent upon the Air Ministry, signed a convention with Eurocontrol in consideration for the use of the Air Navigation Facilities Network.

In 1977, the creation of the Ministry for Transport and Communications entailed the integration of the Subsecretariat for Civil Aviation into the national civil service.

In 1982 the disappearance of the Subsecretariat for Civil Aviation gave place to the creation of the General Directorate for Civil Aviation (DGAC), which took on the legislative and regulatory powers, as well as those of air navigation. OAAN (the Autonomous National Airport Authority) became part of the Ministry for Transport, Tourism and Communications).

Creation of the public entity Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (Aena)

Under the Royal Decree 905/1991, of 14 June, the statute of the public entity Aena (acronym for Spanish Airports and Air Navigation) was approved, and this came into force on 19 June 1991, the day following its publication in the Official Spanish Gazette (BOE). The directives for action by the new entity were set by the Government through the then Ministry for Transport, Tourism and Communications, today the Ministry for Public Works, and competences for management of the network of Spanish airports, air navigation facilities and support networks and control over air traffic were entrusted to it.

On 29 June 1990, in application of Art. 82 of the Act 4/1990, of 29 June 1990, the public entity Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (Aena), attached to the Ministry for Transport, Tourism and Communications, was created.

On 2 November 1991 it began to provide airport services and, one years later, on 2 November 1992, Aena started to provide services related to air navigation.

SACTA put into service at the Air Control Centres

Development having got under way in 1984, the operational system SACTA (Automated Air Traffic Control System), was put into service at the Control Centre of Palma de Mallorca in the year 1990. In 1991, it came into service at the Air Traffic Control Centre of Madrid and, in 1992, at the Air Traffic Control Centre of Seville as well. At the Air Traffic Control Centres of Barcelona and Canary Islands, it was installed in 1994.

Entry of Spain into Eurocontrol

In 1997 Spain joined Eurocontrol as a full member.

New air traffic control centres

On 19 June 2001, the new Air Traffic Control Centre of Seville, replacing the former one situated at El Judío, came into operation. The Air Traffic Control Centre of Seville was the very first in Spain, its history stretching back to the year 1952.

On 23 February 2005, the new Air Traffic Control Centre of Barcelona came into operation, replacing the former one situated at Gavá.

First flight plan system at European level

Aena, DFS and NATS, the air navigation service providers of Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom, signed an agreement to develop, jointly, the first flight plan system at a European level.

Liberalisation of aerodrome control

On 14 April 2010, the Act 9/2010 was published, regulating the provision of air traffic services, and the obligations of civil providers of such services are established, in addition to setting certain working conditions for civil air traffic controllers. This Act liberalised aerodrome control services.

The airport of Lleida-Alguaire began operations in 2010 and was the first autonomous region airport, outside the Aena network, to receive air navigation services from Aena, later on handled by ENAIRE.

Separation between Aena Aeropuertos S.A. and Aena public corporate entity (EPE)

By resolution of the Cabinet on 25 February 2011, the company Aena Aeropuertos was created, pursuant to the Legislative Royal Decree 13, of 3 December 2010, of actions in the fiscal, occupational and liberalising areas to encourage investment and the creation of employment, and which included, in its legislative text, the modernisation of the airport system through the implantation of a new management model.

By Ministerial Order of 7 June 2011, the commencement of the activity of Aena Aeropuertos, SA. was approved, to which entity all the duties and obligations previously exercised by the public corporate entity Aena in relation to the management and operation of airport services were entrusted.

Service provision agreement between Aena Aeropuertos S.A. and Aena (Public Corporate Entity).

On 18 January 2012, José Manuel Vargas Gómez was appointed managing director-Chairman of the Public Corporate Entity Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (Aena).

Agreement between Spain and Portugal on functional airspace blocks

On 17 March 2013 Spain and Portugal signed the agreement to establish the south-west airspace.[6] It was signed by the Minister for Public Works, Ana Pastor Julián, and the Minister for the Economy and Employment of Portugal, Álvaro Santos Pereira, in order to establish a functional block for the management of the airspaces of Spain and Portugal (SW FAB – south-west zone of Europe).[7]

The public corporate entity Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (Aena) becomes ENAIRE

The public corporate entity Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (Aena) changed its name to ENAIRE (Legislative Royal Decree 8, of 4 July 2014). ENAIRE continues with the same nature and juridical regime envisaged for the public corporate entity Aena, holding exclusive competences in relation to air navigation and airspace, as well as national and international operational coordination of the national air traffic management network. In addition, ENAIRE holds 51% of the shares of Aena S.A., which has been listed on the Stock Exchange since 11 February 2015.

The Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Rafael Catalá Polo, became chairman of the Public Corporate Entity ENAIRE on 15 July 2014. With his subsequent appointment as Minister for Justice, under the Royal Decree 851/2014, of 3 October, Julio Gómez-Pomar Rodríguez was appointed Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, and he also assumed the chairmanship of the public corporate entity ENAIRE.

Aena Aeropuertos becomes Aena S.A.

Under the Legislative Royal Decree 8, of 4 July 2014, the change of name of the company Aena Aeropuertos, S.A., to Aena, SA., took place. ENAIRE possesses 51% of its shares.

iTEC agreement between ENAIRE, DFS, NATS, LVNL and Indra

The agreement to form the Group iTEC (Interoperability Through European Collaboration) was signed by the air navigation providers of Spain (ENAIRE), Germany (DFS), the United Kingdom (NATS) and Holland (LVNL), and the Spanish company Indra, for the development of the future air controller post in Europe.

Appointment of Ángel Luis Arias Serrano

On 19 May 2015, Ángel Luis Arias Serrano (Madrid, 1960) was appointed managing director of ENAIRE by the board of directors of the public corporate entity ENAIRE. Between January 2012 and his appointment as managing director of ENAIRE, Ángel Luis Arias occupied the post of Director General of Civil Aviation, in the course of which he exercised the duties of Chairman of the Governing Board of the Spanish Air Safety Agency (AESA) and he has been a member of the boards of directors of ENAIRE and Senasa, as well as vice-chairman of the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL).

New president

In June 2018, Julio Gómez-Pomar Rodríguez was dismissed as Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing with the publication of Royal Decree 506/2018, of June 18, and the publication on the same day of Royal Decree 511 / 2018, of June 18, whereby Pedro Saura García, Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, is appointed, then becomes president of ENAIRE. In accordance with the Royal Decree-Law 8/2014, of July 4, concerning the governing bodies of the ENAIRE Public Business Entity, the position of President of the same will fall to the Secretary of State for Infrastructures, Transport and Housing.



ENAIRE owns 51% of Aena, a network of 46 airports in Spain and abroad. Aena operates all the airports of public interest in Spain and some air bases on a mixed basis with the Armed Forces of Spain. Also worth noting are Ceuta Heliport and Algeciras Heliport, the only heliports of the network.


ENAIRE also holds shares in the company INECO (an acronym for "Transport Engineering and Economics") (45.85%). The remainder of the shares are distributed between Renfe Operadora (12.78%) and Adif (41.37%). INECO is specialized in carrying out studies and projects linked to the transport and telecommunications sector. Created more than forty years ago, it has participated in all the major infrastructure projects for airports, railways and roads undertaken in Spain, and in many others internationally.


With the legal personality of an Economic Interest Grouping, ENAIRE (66.66%), Ineco (16.67%) and the Polytechnic University of Madrid (16.67%), have constituted the "ATM Research, Development and Innovation Reference Centre" (Crida) to engage in R&D+I activities in the area of ATM aimed at improving performance (in particular safety, capacity and economic and environmental efficiency) of the Spanish air navigation system, as an integral part of a global system.[8]

In addition, ENAIRE holds stakes in: EMGRISA (0.08%), Grupo Navegación por Satélite Sistemas y Servicios S.L. (19.3%), GroupEAD (36%) and Barcelona Regional (11.76%).

See also


  1. ^ "Enlarged A6 Alliance renews SESAR commitment | Air Traffic Management | Air Traffic Management – ATM and CMS Industry online, the latest air traffic control industry, CAA, ANSP, SESAR and NEXTGEN news, events, supplier directory and magazine". www.airtrafficmanagement.net.
  2. ^ "DFS takes the helm at A6 Alliance | Air Traffic Management | Air Traffic Management – ATM and CMS Industry online, the latest air traffic control industry, CAA, ANSP, SESAR and NEXTGEN news, events, supplier directory and magazine". www.airtrafficmanagement.net.
  3. ^ "PANSA, Oro Navigacija sign deal with Indra for new air traffic management systems". Airport Technology.
  4. ^ Roman, Ana Garcia And David (15 October 2014). "Aena's Initial Investors Named". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660.
  5. ^ "Sky's the limit for MAHB".
  6. ^ "FABEC and SW FAB intensify operational cooperation". Travel Daily News.
  7. ^ "FABs work to optimise crowded SW axis | Air Traffic Management | Air Traffic Management – ATM and CMS Industry online, the latest air traffic control industry, CAA, ANSP, SESAR and NEXTGEN news, events, supplier directory and magazine". www.airtrafficmanagement.net.
  8. ^ "UAVs and MSA carry out Spanish self-separation tests". Flight Global. 24 May 2016.

External links

Media related to ENAIRE at Wikimedia Commons

Air navigation service provider

An air navigation service provider (ANSP) is a public or a private legal entity providing Air Navigation Services. It manages air traffic on behalf of a company, region or country. Depending on the specific mandate an ANSP provides one or more of the following services to airspace users

Air Traffic Management (ATM)

Communication navigation and surveillance systems (CNS)

Meteorological service for air navigation (MET)

Search and rescue (SAR)

Aeronautical information services/aeronautical information management (AIS/AIM).These services are provided to air traffic during all phases of operations (approach, aerodrome and en-route).

Air navigation service providers are either government departments, state-owned companies, or privatised organisations. The majority of the world's Air Navigation Service Providers are members of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation located at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Air traffic control

Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace, and can provide advisory services to aircraft in non-controlled airspace. The primary purpose of ATC worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots. In some countries, ATC plays a security or defensive role, or is operated by the military.

To prevent collisions, ATC enforces traffic separation rules, which ensure each aircraft maintains a minimum amount of empty space around it at all times. Many aircraft also have collision avoidance systems, which provide additional safety by warning pilots when other aircraft get too close.

In many countries, ATC provides services to all private, military, and commercial aircraft operating within its airspace. Depending on the type of flight and the class of airspace, ATC may issue instructions that pilots are required to obey, or advisories (known as flight information in some countries) that pilots may, at their discretion, disregard. The pilot in command is the final authority for the safe operation of the aircraft and may, in an emergency, deviate from ATC instructions to the extent required to maintain safe operation of their aircraft.

Alicante–Elche Airport

Alicante–Elche Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche) (IATA: ALC, ICAO: LEAL), originally named El Altet, is —as of 2017— the fifth-busiest airport in Spain based on passenger numbers, and the main airport serving the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia. The airport is located in the municipality of Elche, about 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) east of this city and about 9 km (5.6 mi) southwest of Alicante. Its influence area spans other cities in the Valencia province—the city of Valencia is located about 160 km (99 mi) north of the airport—and in the Region of Murcia. The airport is located about 70 km (43 mi) north of Murcia.

The airport is a base for Air Nostrum, Evelop Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair and Vueling. Passenger traffic has increased significantly in the last decade, beating its own yearly record since 2013 to date; in particular, in 2015, it handled 10,574,484 passengers. Then, in 2016 it set its new record with almost 12,350,000 passengers,; in 2017 it set its new consecutive record at 13.7 million passengers. It is one of the 50 busiest in Europe. Up to 80% of all passenger flights are international. The largest numbers of passengers arrive from the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Sweden. Popular domestic destinations are Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona.

Civil Air Navigation Services Organization

The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) is a representative body of companies that provide air traffic control. It represents the interests of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). CANSO members are responsible for supporting over 85% of world air traffic, and through its workgroups, members share information and develop new policies, with the aim of improving air navigation services on the ground and in the air. CANSO also represents its members' views in regulatory and industry forums, including at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), where it has official Observer status.

Full membership is open to all ANSPs regardless of their legal status. This includes ANSPs who are integrated within government structures and departments. Members who are not separated from their governments are able to sign an article of membership which explicitly recognises that CANSO does not represent the national government of the ANSP's home state in any way.

The Associate Membership of CANSO is drawn from companies and organisations from the aviation industry who are involved with the delivery of air traffic services. Membership offers them the chance to network both formally and informally with clients, and decision makers across the aviation industry. Associate Members may contribute to CANSO's work programmes and help it improve the delivery of Air Navigation Services.

CANSO is member of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).

Fuerteventura Airport

Fuerteventura Airport (IATA: FUE, ICAO: GCFV), also known as El Matorral Airport, is an airport serving the Spanish island of Fuerteventura. It is situated in El Matorral, 5 km (3.1 mi) southwest of the capital city Puerto del Rosario. The airport has flight connections to over 80 destinations worldwide, and over 5.6 million passengers passed through it in 2016.The airport has one terminal building with two floors. The ground floor has two sections; one section is for flight arrivals and the other for flight departures. The first floor has the departures lounge and 24 boarding gates. In total, the terminal covers over 92,000 m² and it has the capacity to handle 8.2 million passengers per year.

Lanzarote Airport

César Manrique-Lanzarote Airport (IATA: ACE, ICAO: GCRR) (Spanish: Aeropuerto de César Manrique-Lanzarote), commonly known as Lanzarote Airport and also known as Arrecife Airport, is the airport serving the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. The airport is located in San Bartolomé, Las Palmas, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southwest of the island's capital, Arrecife. It handles flights to many European airports, with hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, as well as internal flights to other Spanish airports. It handled 7,327,019 passengers in 2018.

As a tribute to the legacy left behind by local artist César Manrique, the airport's official name was changed in 2019, coinciding with the centenary of the artist's birth.

List of airports in Spain

This is a list of airports in Spain, sorted by location.

List of government-owned companies

This is a list of government-owned companies. A government-owned corporation is a legal entity that undertakes commercial activities on behalf of an owner government. Their legal status varies from being a part of government to stock companies with a state as a regular stockholder. There is no standard definition of a government-owned corporation (GOC) or state-owned enterprise (SOE), although the two terms can be used interchangeably. The defining characteristics are that they have a distinct legal form and that they are established to operate in commercial affairs. While they may also have public policy objectives, GOCs should be differentiated from other forms of government agencies or state entities established to pursue purely non-financial objectives.

List of the busiest airports in Spain

This is a list of the busiest airports in Spain, including airports in the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. Data is compiled from statistics published by ENAIRE (formerly AENA), the public body that owns and operates the majority of airports in the country. Data is available for 2011 to 2016.

Málaga Airport

Málaga Airport (IATA: AGP, ICAO: LEMG), officially Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Málaga-Costa del Sol) since June 2011, is the fourth busiest airport in Spain after Madrid–Barajas, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. It is an important airport for Spanish tourism as it is the main international airport serving the Costa del Sol. It is 8 km (5.0 mi) southwest of Málaga and 5 km (3.1 mi) north of Torremolinos. The airport has flight connections to over 60 countries worldwide, and over 14.4 million passengers passed through it in 2015. In 2017, 18.6 million passengers passed through Malaga Airport.

The airport operates with three terminals. The third terminal adjacent to the previous two opened on 15 March 2010, and flight operations started on 16 March 2010. A second runway opened at the airport on 26 June 2012.Málaga Airport is the busiest international airport of Andalucía, accounting for 85 per cent of the region's non-domestic traffic. It offers a wide variety of international destinations. The airport, connected to the Costa del Sol, has a daily link with twenty cities in Spain and over one hundred cities in Europe. Direct flights also operate to Africa, the Middle East and also to North America in the summer season. Airlines with a base at the airport are Air Europa, Norwegian, Scandinavian Airlines, Ryanair and Vueling.

Palma de Mallorca Airport

Palma de Mallorca Airport (Catalan: Aeroport de Palma de Mallorca, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Palma de Mallorca; IATA: PMI, ICAO: LEPA; also known as Son Sant Joan Airport or Aeroport de Son Sant Joan) is an international airport located 8 km (5.0 mi) east of Palma, Majorca, Spain, adjacent to the village of Can Pastilla. The airport on the Balearic Islands is Spain's third largest airport after Madrid–Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat. Palma de Mallorca was used by 27.9 million passengers in 2017. The airport is the main base for the Spanish carrier Air Europa and also a focus airport for Ryanair, EasyJet, Vueling and Jet2.com. The airport shares runways with the nearby Son Sant Joan Air Force Base, operated by the Spanish Air Force.

Pilar Mañas Brugat

María del Pilar Mañas Brugat (born 24 July 1975) is a Spanish military officer. In 2017 she became the first woman to take command of a Spanish Air Force unit. She was named an Exemplary Woman (Spanish: Mujer Referente) by the Women's Institute in 2018.

Ports of the State

Ports of the State (Spanish: Puertos del Estado) is a State-owned company responsible for the management of state-owned ports. The company executes the port policy of the Government and coordinates and controls the efficiency of the port system, made up of 28 Port authorities that manage the 46 ports of general interest.

This company, along with ENAIRE, exists for a constitutional mandate in Article 149, which grants the State the exclusive competence of ports and airports.

Remote and virtual tower

Remote and virtual tower (RVT) is a new concept where the air traffic service (ATS) at an airport is performed somewhere else than in the local control tower.

The first remote tower implementation providing aerodrome ATS was approved and introduced into operations in Sweden in April 2015, with further

implementations in other EASA Member States well underway. (EASA, 2017)


SACTA: Sistema Automatizado de Control del Tránsito Aéreo - Automatic Air Traffic Control System.

Owned by ENAIRE[1] and developed by Indra[2].

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