Runway crack forces Spanish airport closure for third time in two years

Vigo-Peinador airport

Vigo Airport (VGO), in the north-western region of Galicia, had to close down unexpectedly on March 20, 2023, after a crack was reportedly detected on the runway around 7pm local time. 

The total closure of the airport affected at least five flights, three arrivals and two departures, operated by three different airlines (Vueling, Iberia and Air Europa) and connecting the Galician airport to Barcelona and Madrid. 

The incoming flights were diverted to Santiago de Compostela (SCQ), located 100 kilometers north of Vigo, with passengers being transferred by bus. 

The next morning, Spanish airport operator AENA informed that repairs were still underway, and traffic was expected to resume on March 21, 2023. Three more flights had to be canceled, and another one was diverted. A total of 22 flights were scheduled for the day (11 arrivals and 11 departures). 

This is the third time in the last couple of years that Vigo airport has faced such problems. On New Year’s Eve 2021, the airport had to be closed for two days due to the discovery of a massive crack, seven meters long and two meters wide, across the runway.  

Cracks re-emerged in July 2022, forcing yet another closure of the airport, that time for a period of twelve hours. 

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