The Mutxamel aerodrome and the European Flyers pilot school, owned by the Miñano family (founder of the helicopter company Inaer, then Babcock, and owner of the MGWines wine group, among other companies), are poised to grow. The growing demand in the aeronautical sector and the possibilities of the Alicante runway have decided its owners to promote in Alicante what they have called an ‘air university’.
The aerodrome, which has been in operation since 1981, is currently used for general aviation, with a significant presence of amateurs, training flights and company tests. Its location, climate and wind have made it a tremendously attractive option for school flights, since every year several “detachments” of European Flyers travel to Mutxamel, staying at the Bonalba hotel.
The purpose of the Miñano family is to expand the runway and hangars, and provide the aerodrome with other types of services that make it a real campus. The project examines new hangars (the first to be erected since this summer next to the headquarters of the pilot school), simulators and a general aviation maintenance center.
Regarding the complementary offer, the purpose of its promoters is to build a hotel behind the hangars so that it works mainly as a residence for students (who now reside in other establishments with which the school maintains collaboration agreements), but also for others users of aeronautical facilities, as well as sports areas, a leisure center and a social club.
At first, the family that owns the aerodrome is promoting this project in principle with its own resources, although they do not rule out the entry of a possible interested investor. For now, the aerodrome owners have completed the urbanization works in the sector, which were launched in 2018 and were an essential condition to continue with the rest of the expansion.
Currently, the aerodrome has a second headquarters in Madrid (Cuatro Vientos), which is also the headquarters of Babcock MCS Spain (the old Inaer, obtained in 2014 by the British transport holding company) and the Alicante Aeroclub, dedicated to the dissemination of sport flying. Other companies in the sector also use their facilities occasionally to test prototypes. The aerodrome is also the base of operations for Civil Protection and Fire Fighting in the Valencian Community.
The aerodrome has a 1,000m length and 23m wide runway, with an elevation of 133m above sea level and aims to become one of the reference facilities for southern Europe.