go Visit Málaga Airport Museum - how we used to fly to the Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Spain
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Visit Málaga Airport Museum - how we used to fly

A fantastic museum full of air travel history set in the original Malaga Airport terminal of 1948

By Nick Nutter | Updated 29 Aug 2022 | Málaga | Museums | Login to add to YOUR Favourites Favourites Icon or Read Later

This article has been visited 6,528 times Malaga Airport Passenger Terminal Malaga Airport Passenger Terminal

Malaga Airport Passenger Terminal

100 Years Ago - 1919

It is only one hundred years since the first flight landed at what would become Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport. Pierre Latecoere was looking for locations for aerodromes in Spain to establish a commercial airline to link France with its colonies in Africa. On the 9th March 1919, his Salmson 2A plane touched down on land known as El Rompedizo.

First Scheduled Flights

Collection of Aeroplanes Collection of Aeroplanes

Collection of Aeroplanes

On the 1st September 1919, Didier Daurat, who was to become the manager of Málaga aerodrome, began scheduled flights between Toulouse, Barcelona, Alicante, Málaga, Tangiers and Casablanca.

Málaga Airport Opened for Domestic and International Traffic

Aircraft Simulator Aircraft Simulator

Aircraft Simulator

In 1937 the aerodrome became an airbase for Air Force crew members with an air station’s office. In 1946 the airport was opened for domestic and international traffic and classified as a customs post. All passenger services were conducted in the air station until the first passenger station opened in 1948.

Málaga Airport Museum

The passenger station, looking suspiciously like a finca, is the centre of the airport museum. It remained in use until 1968. Until 1965 the airport was known as ‘El Rompedizo’ when the name was changed to Málaga Airport. The name was changed again in 2011 when it became Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport.

A Big Adventure

The old passenger station has been kept as was. On entering the building, you are confronted by the varnished wood check-in desk. Nostalgic displays include the menus from which you could choose your lunch or dinner. In 1930 it was possible to have a silver service, three-course meal with wine, brandy and cigars. Mind you, that was the peak, airline meals have gone downhill steadily since then. There are some lovely examples of posters extolling the comfort of various aircraft and why you should choose that airline for your journey. Perfect families, perfectly coiffed, excitedly looking from the panoramic window at some exotic destination. It was all so naïve. In reality, the standard passenger aircraft before about 1960 rattled, banged, creaked and swooped alarmingly in any turbulence. I know because I have flown in some of them. The most important piece of kit was the ‘barf bag’. Even as late as the 1980’s the first officer of your Dan Air flight received a cheer and round of applause after a successful landing. It was all a big adventure.

Fly a Simulator

Anyhow, back to the museum. You can arrange to fly a simulator and discover just how adventurous those passengers were allowing themselves to be carried in a late 1960’s Boeing 737.

Original Control Tower

Visit the original control tower and look at the old flight signalling system. Remind youngsters that this is all pre-computer age. In the background, you can hear a radio with a flight controller talking to a pilot. Before radio, communication between ground and air was conducted in morse code. You can try your hand at morse at the museum. This is just one of several hands-on displays that entertain and educate people of all ages.

Visit the Malaga Airport Museum website for prices and opening times

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Museums and Galleries in Málaga