A new 3000m runway is planned to expand Alicante-Elche Airport by 2035.
The Ministry of Development is completing an environmental assessment for extending Alicante-Elche airport with the addition of a second runway. Running parallel to the existing landing strip, the 3000m runway will help with the movements of 112,240 aircrafts a year. The runway hopes to be in place by 2035 to enable Alicante to serve the predicted 17 million passengers each year.
Many consider the second runway a necessary move as a way to provide competition for other nearby and bigger airports in Spain. The additional space required by the expansion will reach over 290 hectares. This will mainly be in the Elche municipality and stretch into Alicante.
However, one of the main issues is that part of the expansion will extend into Saladar de Agua Amarga. Many environmentalists have raised concerns about the extension, and Ecological Colla d`Alacant has raised an objection. The reason for this is that it invades a salt marsh.
Currently, Alicante-Elche airport is the fifth largest in Spain and employs 6,000 people. Furthermore, it has the capacity to move 20 million passengers a year. However, the issue lies in the lack of rail connections to the nearby towns and cities such as Benidorm, Elche and Alicante.