A million? 3 million?
Incredibly, more than 5.6 million people used the airport in 2011.
I don’t suppose that when the airport was built during the Spanish Civil War, anybody on the island would have envisaged such a huge amount of people using it at any time time in the future.
It first opened to passengers on 1st April 1959. A budget of 500,000 Pesetas was set aside to refurbish the buildings and to provide services and a travellers lounge.
Anybody using the airport today can easily see the huge changes that have taken place since then, mostly due to the year-on-year increase in tourist numbers.
It now has 71 check-in desks and 17 boarding gates to cope with the 95% of people who use the airport to travel to and from Ibiza each year.
But apart from the usual check-in desks and boarding gates, what other facilities are available to you as a traveller?
Although relatively small for a modern airport, it offers a wide range of visitor services.
A bank, ATMs, a pharmacy, restaurants and duty-free shops are all standard fare in airports these days, but there is lots more to offer you until you’re ready to leave for home or your hotel.
Whether arriving or departing, why not take some traditional Ibicencan foodstuffs with you?
Many of the shops sell a variety of locally-produced items, including ‘flao’, a delicious sweet cheese and mint flan, and ‘ensaimada’, a flat pastry coil.
For those of you without a sweet tooth, maybe a bottle of ‘Hierbas’, a herb-flavoured spirit that aids digestion, would be more to your taste.
If you’re a busy business person working to a tight schedule, then there’s a fully-equipped conference centre available which will seat up to 80 people.
And you thought Ibiza was just for R&R!
If, however, you’re on the island to party, then a recent addition to the airport was made with you in mind.
Near gates 7 and 8 is the world’s first airport lounge club.
Open 24/7, Cathy and David Guetta have their own 260 square metre ‘F*** Me I’m Famous’ club, ready to make your holiday last just that little bit longer!
Playing four different styles of music depending upon the time of day, there’s a DJ booth, lounge/chill-out zone with views of Ses Salines Natural Park, and a dancefloor where you can throw some shapes whilst watching the planes take off and land!
If you’ve visited Ibiza during the last couple of years, you’ll have noticed construction work taking place all over the airport.
Despite the global economy being in the doldrums, visitor numbers are showing no signs of heading downwards, therefore Aena, the company that manages the airport, is looking to the future and spending millions preparing the building and its services for even greater passenger numbers.
As far as I can see, the only downside to this is the removal of the iconic ‘ibiza-eivissa’ sign from the front of the terminal building.
Which bright spark came up with that idea?!
That image is seen all over the world on CD covers, in magazines and books, and in tens of thousands of places on the internet.
To me it’s always been synonymous with the island’s image. If I think of Ibiza, that sign, lit up at night against the clear, starry sky, always pops into my head, and I’m certain I’m not the only person!
Oh well! That’s ‘progress’ for you, I suppose!