Airport is located approximately 10 kilometers north of Bilbao, across the
airfield from the original Bilbao terminal.
Calatrava was commissioned to design a new terminal, with four embarkation
gates, when the Sondica Airport in 1990 had reached the limits of its
development and could no longer function as a transportation hub for the
growing Basque region.
Because of the increased number of flights to this fast developing area four
additional gates, with the possibility for future expansion, were added to
the complex in 1994. Sondica Airport is now able to handle 2 million
passengers per year and will ultimately be able to accommodate up to 10
million. A metro connection is planned for the near future.
of the complex is a huge glazed triangular hall, containing the
administrative areas, restaurants and waiting areas. The hall is covered by
an aerodynamic roof that sweeps upwards in the direction of the airfield.
The waiting areas, located behind the glazed slanting facades, overlook the
apron and runways. The triangular plan follows the natural flow of
passengers toward a transverse linear walkway leading to the gates.
curved, glazed entrance on the north side of the terminal allows full use of
the 36 meter (118 feet) traffic drop-off area. The elevated upper level is
for departures, the lower level for arrivals.
structures of the east and west wings are clad in a unifying skin of
A 100 meter (328 feet) subterranean passageway connects the airport to a
four-story parking garage with room for 1,500 vehicles. Partially recessed
in the landscape the parking structure is integrated with the airport both
functionally and visually.
Calatravas plan for the airport allows for the future construction of
auxiliary facilities, such as hotels and a recreational complex.
Aeropuertos Espaņoles y Navegacion Aerea