Ciudad Real Central Airport – Villar del Pozo, Spain - Atlas Obscura
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Villar del Pozo, Spain

Ciudad Real Central Airport

An abandoned airport in the middle of nowhere. 

Abandoned just four years after it was built, this modern ghost airport is one of the many victims of Spain’s economic bust. Opened in 2008 as the first private airport in Spain, it never reached the 10 million travelers a year it was designed for, or even got close.

Ciudad Real Central Airport (Aeropuerto Central Ciudad Real) was built in the tiny town of Ciudad Real, about an hour south of Madrid in a little-traveled stretch of central Spain. It was dubbed the Don Quijote Airport after the literary hero of the region, and there were big plans in store for the project.

Instead, the airport went bankrupt when Spain’s economy took a turn in 2012, and has stood deserted ever since.

The ghost airport is one of the more notorious remnants of Spain’s construction boom in the mid-2000s, that left scores of buildings including two other airports unused after the bubble burst (Alguaire Airport in Catalonia and Castellón-Costa Azahar Airport near Valencia).

The deserted airport has a single runway, as well as a visitors centre nearby that has also been closed in 2012. It is currently for sale, and while there was a bid from China to buy it for a tiny fraction of the original price, the future of the airport remains uncertain. 

Know Before You Go

There are signs leading from the highway to the airport and the visitors center.