Tenerife-North Airport

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Tenerife North Airport
Aeropuerto de Tenerife Norte
Norda flughaveno de Tenerifo, turo, 2.jpeg
Airport type Public
Owner Aena
Operator Aena
Serves Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Location San Cristóbal de La Laguna
Elevation AMSL 633 m / 2,077 ft
Coordinates 28°28′58″N 016°20′30″W / 28.48278°N 16.34167°W / 28.48278; -16.34167Coordinates: 28°28′58″N 016°20′30″W / 28.48278°N 16.34167°W / 28.48278; -16.34167
Website aena-aeropuertos.es
TFN is located in Canary Islands
Location of airport in Canary Islands
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 3,394 11,135 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passengers 4,704,863
Passenger change 16-17 Increase11.5%
Aircraft Movements 61,098
Movements change 16-17 Increase9.8%
Cargo (t) Increase 13,044.8
Source: Statistics from AENA[1]

Tenerife North Airport (IATA: TFNICAO: GCXO), formerly Los Rodeos Airport, is one of the two international airports on the island of Tenerife, Spain. It is located in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, 11 km (6.8 mi) by road from Santa Cruz and at an altitude of 633 metres (2,077 ft). It handled 3,717,944 passengers in 2012. Combined with Tenerife–South Airport, the island gathers the highest passenger movement of all the Canary Islands, with 12,248,673 passengers,[1] surpassing Gran Canaria Airport. Today TFN is an inter-island hub connecting all seven of the main Canary Islands with connections to the Iberian Peninsula and Europe.

In 1977, the airport was the site of the worst accident in aviation history when 583 passengers and crew were killed after two Boeing 747s collided on the runway in heavy fog.


Early years

Many years before the airport had even been built, the field at Los Rodeos was hastily prepared to accommodate the first (though unofficial) flight into Tenerife operated by an Arado VI (D-1594) aircraft operating from Berlin on behalf of Deutsche Luft Hansa.

In May 1930, the Compañía de Líneas Aéreas Subvencionadas S.A. (C.L.A.S.S.A.) established the first air link between the Spanish mainland and the Canary Islands using a Ford 4-AT Trimotor (M-CKKA), which took off from Getafe, Madrid to the Los Rodeos field via Casablanca, Cape Juby and Gando in Gran Canaria.

After the final location of the airport had been decided, funds were gathered between 1935 and 1939 to build a small hangar and begin expanding the airstrip which would become Los Rodeos. In July 1936 Francisco Franco did not fly from here after taking over the island to invade the mainland Spain. He flew from Gando (Gran Canaria), in a DH-89 Dragon Rapide chartered to the British company Olley Air Service.

Operations into Los Rodeos recommenced on 23 January 1941 with a De Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide operating an Iberia flight from Gando in Gran Canaria. By 1946, more hangars, a passenger terminal and an 800 m (2,625 ft) paved runway had been built, and the airport was officially opened to all national and international traffic. The runway was stretched at various times during the 1940s and 1950s, reaching a length of 2,400 m (7,874 ft) in 1953, by which time the airport was also equipped with runway edge lighting and an air-ground radio, enabling night operations.

Development since the 1960s

By 1964, runway 12/30 had been stretched to 3,000 m (9,843 ft) to accommodate the DC-8, new navigation aids were installed, and the apron was expanded to provide more parking spaces for aircraft. In 1971, with the prospect of the Boeing 747 flying into the airport, the runway was reinforced and an ILS (Instrument Landing System) was installed.

In the 1977 Tenerife disaster, a Pan Am Boeing 747 and a KLM Boeing 747 collided on the runway, killing 583 people, the highest number of fatalities (excluding ground fatalities) of any single accident in aviation history. In response, a new airport, Tenerife South Airport, was inaugurated on November 6, 1978. It is situated at sea level which averts the occurrence of fog, one of the reasons for the crash.

A new terminal was inaugurated in 2002, comprising car park, motorway access ramps, and four-story terminal building, with 12 gates. The airport regained its international status when flights to Caracas began. An inter-island domestic area was opened in 2005.

Airlines and destinations

View of the Airport
Check-in hall
Apron view
Iberia Boeing 747-412 at the airport.


The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Tenerife-North:[3]

Airlines Destinations
Air Europa Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Málaga, Seville
Seasonal: Alicante, Santiago de Compostela
Air Europa Express Gran Canaria[4]
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome-Fiumicino
Binter Canarias & NAYSA Dakar, El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Marrakech
Seasonal: Agadir, Funchal
CanaryFly Gran Canaria, La Palma, Lanzarote
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki
operated by Air Nostrum
Seasonal: Pamplona, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia
Iberia Express Asturias, Madrid
Seasonal: Vigo
Norwegian Air Shuttle Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante
Royal Air Maroc
operated by Royal Air Maroc Express
Ryanair Barcelona, Madrid
Vueling Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Málaga, Paris-Orly, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Zaragoza


Airlines Destinations
Swiftair Madrid


Tenerife North Airport Passenger Totals 2000-2015 (millions)
Updated: 31 March 2016.
Passengers Aircraft movements Cargo (tonnes)
2000 2,411,100 48,902 22,462
2001 2,511,277 49,132 21,060
2002 2,486,227 48,785 21,148
2003 2,919,087 53,718 23,842
2004 3,368,988 56,592 23,647
2005 3,754,513 60,235 22,163
2006 4,025,601 65,297 23,193
2007 4,125,131 65,843 25,169
2008 4,236,615 67,800 20,781
2009 4,054,147 62,776 18,304
2010 4,051,155 61,607 15,918
2011 4,095,103 62,590 15,745
2012 3,717,944 55,789 14,778
2013 3,524,470 49,289 13,493
2014 3,633,030 52,694 13,991
2015 3,815,315 53,259 12,819
Source: AENA[5]

Accidents and incidents

Tenerife airport disaster

Tenerife North Airport was the scene of the Tenerife airport disaster, the deadliest accident in aviation history to date. The accident took place on 27 March 1977, while during take-off, KLM Flight 4805, a Boeing 747-206B, collided with Pan Am Flight 1736, a Boeing 747-121, taxiing along the runway. Amongst the passengers and crew on board the two aircraft, all 248 passengers and crew on the KLM flight were killed, along with 335 passengers and crew on the Pan Am flight, but 61 passengers and crew on the Pan Am flight survived. The total death toll was 583 people. Neither flight was originally scheduled to be at the airport; both were scheduled to land at Gran Canaria Airport, but had been diverted to Tenerife North (then Tenerife Los Rodeos) as a result of a bombing at Gran Canaria.

Other incidents

Date Airline Aircraft type Registration Flight number People on board Fatalities
1956-09-29 Aviaco SNCASE Languedoc EC-AKV 38 0+1
1965-05-05 Iberia Lockheed L-1049G EC-AIN 401 49 30
1965-12-07 Spantax Douglas DC-3 EC-ARZ 32 32
1970-01-05 Iberia Fokker F-27 Friendship 600 EC-BOD 49 0
1972-12-03 Spantax Convair CV-990 EC-BZR 275 155 155
1978-02-15 Sabena Boeing 707-329 OO-SJE 196 0
1980-04-25 Dan-Air Boeing 727-46 G-BDAN 1008 146 146


  1. ^ a b AENA statistics for 2012
  2. ^ EAD Basic
  3. ^ aena.es - Destinos (Spanish) retrieved 24 November 2016
  4. ^ "Iniciamos los vuelos interislas Canarias". 
  5. ^ [1]

External links

Media related to Tenerife North Airport at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website (in English) (in Spanish)
  • Airlines Pilot Association (ALPA) Article on 1977 KLM-PanAm disaster
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