Barcelona metro to link El Prat airport in 2016

The Barcelona metro will link up to El Prat airport in 2016 according to the president of Catalonia Artur Mas.

When the extension is finished there will be 15 stations (three less than originally planned) between Zona Universitària station, which now at the end of the L3 line, and the international airport. The first test runs will be at the end of 2015.

Some €3 million is being invested in the section that links the city with the new El Prat terminal T1.

The extension to the L3 line (green) is part of a larger project of two other lines, the L9 and L10, which have delayed by the economic crisis. The original project is for the L9 and L10 to link up with the section to the L3 to El Prat airport at Zona Universitària. However there is no schedule for their opening.

El Prat airport is now growing faster than Madrid’s Barajas airport. In May the number of passengers increased by 5.5 per cent compared with the 4.1 per cent increase for Madrid’s airport, bringing the total number of passengers through Barcelona in May 2014 to 3,397,097, just 147,000 short of Madrid.

One of the reasons for the growth is the increase in international fliers going through Barcelona rather than Madrid. Most of the growth in international traffic at El Prat came from services with the EU (up 9 per cent), with flights from outside the EU also up (5.3 per cent) although domestic passengers out of Barcelona were actually down 2.1 per cent this year over May 2013.