Is there hope for the airport?

Time to actually fulfill some of my threats promises.

One of which was writing about the Gib airport (s).

The title, by the way, also refers to um, a photo shot weekly thing, but more of that later.

A while ago, I noticed the new airport shooting up, and quickly snapped some pix of the old building which I think is particularly nice.

Back on ItchyFeet, I wrote briefly about the airport:

Gibraltar is the nearest airport in the world to its city. Coming across the frontier into Gib currently involves driving, cycling, or walking across the airport runway. When planes are due to land/take off, the route across the airport is closed leading to queues and delays.

Crossing the runway

Just so everyone gets the idea of the unique situation here.

Now, the previous government (GSD) in Gib decided to build a new airport at a cost of a very lot of pounds. (Actually it cost 75mill euros – but why in Gib is this price always quoted in euros? I thought we used sterling here? I digress. Back to the expensive plot.)

This was because, apparently, building a new airport would lead to lots more tourists who decide where to go on holiday based on the quality of the airport. There are a handful of flights a day in Gib. Was the cost of millions of pounds for the airport warranted?

The GSLP thought not. But now they are in power, they have to decide what to do with it.

A few more tales about the airport. Apparently on the open day for the public, conveniently held just before the Gib election, unfinished areas were hidden by hoarding.

And the contract for the first two weeks of cleaning the new incomplete airport cost a mere £90,000. I exaggerate. It was £88,281.90. According to the Gib Chron the owners of the firm are two Spanish businessmen. Well, they won’t need to do too much for the rest of the year will they? I could live on £45K a fortnight, even after expenses.

Shame there aren’t any cleaning firms in Gib huh? But wait. There are. So why didn’t they get the tender? Well? Because that is £90,000 that is going out of Gibraltar (less costs) into Spain. Why?

Is there hope for the new airport? Well, it’s pretty. But seriously, do I give a shit? And I would rather the money have been better spent on something that would have helped the vast majority of Gibraltarians. Eg, housing, KGV (mental health), employment for local people etc etc.

I admire the new government for trying to work out the best way to deal with such a white elephant.

So onto hope.

Well Peter Caruana (former chief minister the government, now leader of the GSD opposition) obviously hoped Gib airport was going to be renamed The Peter Caruana Airport.

Hope that someone can retrieve something out of this abyss.

Hope that a Gib cleaning firm might get the contract at some point and not at such a ridiculous price.

A few shots of the airports.

Arrivals at the old airport
Checking in
The roof terrace - looking towards the cloud-covered Rock
The roof terrace - looking towards sunny La Linea
The new airport from the roof terrace
And another take
The new terminal viewed from the (Gib end) of the runway
And.. departures

Onto ‘hope’. The weekly inspirational photo thing from wordpress for those of us who can’t think of anything to post.

In fact, the photo accompanying the new subject over on The Daily Post showed a tree/plant/shrub growing in concrete. I have to say as someone who regularly weeds a concrete path that this photo griped me rather than inspired me. Nothing hopeful about anything growing in concrete – it’s all too easy I tell you.

My thoughts along the hope lines, apart from the above airport comments, were more conventional.

Walking along the beach on at the end of an old year. Wondering what the new year will bring, new hopes, and, the sunshine hoping to break through the clouds – hoping the rain will hold off.

Hope - for good things in the new year, and sunshine to hold off the rain

It rained. But not much.

Our dog. Readers of his blog will know he loves toast, and always hopes there will be some for him.

Hope I can reach

Don’t be silly. Of course he reached the toast. He always gets the toast.

And finally partner. He is an expert skip scavenger and to be fair, we have acquired a number of bikes, four serviceable garden chairs, a load of plants and various other goodies. Here he is excitedly opening up some sort of work bench thing that he had rescued ….

Hope this is going to be a good find

….. Only to discover that it had been thrown out because it was useless.

I think I could do a photo a day on this theme, but I don’t play those games so I shan’t.

6 comments on “Is there hope for the airport?

  1. Have been looking foreward to this post, and it really was worth the wait. What a sad airport story, beneath the ironic twists. What I really don’t understand is why the report didn’t refer to the amount in Canadian dollars :)
    As far as the other interpretations, those were supah dahling fun. Your partner’s treasures remind me of my father’s when I was growing up. Some were brilliant. Others I just didn’t ‘get’. But as you say, there was always that hope that some day they would be useful, although some outlived him without finding that fulfillment. Good old Dad :).
    Thanks for sharing.


    • There was never much doubt that I was going to play was there? The airport story has always been political – but seriously, can a city of 30,000 people warrant an airport expansion of that cost for a handful (literally) of flights a day?

      I’d written the airport post in my head some time ago, but it was one of those that never made it to the computer. I wanted to write about the scandalous cleaning costs, so that updated it, I thought the ‘hope’ theme gave it a slightly different twist, and then I couldn’t find the photos for more than 24 hours :D

      And I guess I was expecting the supah dahling back at me :) and, I have struggled not to write it on yours too. Such self-restraint on my part. They were literally three very random images that came into my head about hope. The rubbish scavenge was yesterday morning so was beautifully fresh for the topic.


  2. I guess the hope (that is the word of the the day is it not) is that the new airport will attract flights from other places than the UK, especially those colder places in Northern Europe. Will people flock to Gibraltar for holidays because of the availability of direct flights, and not having to go via the UK and pay two lots of exorbitant airport taxes as well as a hotel night.

    I may well be mistaken, but I was under the impression that the residents of La Linea and the surrouding area of Spain would be able to use the new airport without crossing into Gibraltar, which might encourage traffic through the airport and additional flights. However the Spanish economy and the problems with SpanAir (they appear to have ceased flying anywhere this weekend) suggests that may not happen for a few years.



    • Thanks BL.

      Hope is actually the theme of the week over at wordpress for people who can’t think of anything to write on their blogs. Or something like that.

      I can’t remember what the original theory was about people flocking to Gib, but truth is most northern Europeans flock to the Costa del Sol and not Gib. a) it’s cheaper and b) well, there are a few more beaches and less Levanter cloud. I must say that having to go everywhere via the Uk is a pain. Well, it would be if I flew.

      You are right about the Spanish side of the airport, but the previous mayor of La Linea didn’t seem too keen to get things moving with that. The new mayor seems a lot more amenable and not as off-the-wall, so we will see what happens. But yes, the Spanish economy is not at its best.


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