Murcia San Javier Airport, Small and Perfect

This Airport, IATA Code MJV, is 3km outside San Javier in the Murcia region of Spain is small and compact. Originally constructed as a military airport. A role which it still serves today as a base for training Spanish Air Force pilots. This is one of those lovely small airports that has all the facilities you need but yet is still small enough so that you can get to and from your flight in minutes.

In 2011 the airport handled over 1.2 million passengers, landing and departing on over 12700 flights. Flights are both domestic and international all using a single terminal. Destinations vary depending on the time of year. This is mainly a low-cost airline airport with a number of domestic Spanish operators flying mainly to Madrid.

Low cost airlines include Ryanair, Easyjet, Air-Berlin, Jet2. The majority of their flights are from Spring to the end of Autumn and serve mainly the local tourism sector. There are many ex-pats who live in the area who are major users of this airport too.

The airport has a single storey terminal. It does not really matter whether you enter through Arrivals or Departures as they are essentially in the same building. There are a couple of shops in Departures and a cafe which serves both those arriving, departing and others there to say goodbye or hello. Once you have checked in your bags the departure security area is just around the corner. The queue here is rarely more than 10 minutes and often less.

Once through the security scanner you will find yourself in a large rectangular space, this is main Departure lounge. There are a couple of duty free shops, a cafe and a Subway fast food outlet to keep you entertained whilst you wait. Lots of seating is available and of course toilets. The departure gates are “doors” that lead onto the airport tarmac with booths for the airlines to use when checking your ID and boarding pass. When your gate is called, you can see all five of them. Make sure you are in the correct queue, sometimes they overlap!

Once your documents and ID are checked you are escorted outside to a “holding area”. Usually this is not a problem as the San Javier area has over three hundred days of sunshine each year. A few minutes later you are guided to the aircraft where usually you can board using both front and rear steps. There is of course assistance for those with disabilities or problems using stairs although I suggest you request this in advance. The only stairs are those getting into and out of the aircraft.

When you take off make sure you look out the window. Usually for southerly take-offs the pilot will bank to the left as you climb. This will give an amazing view of the beautiful Mar Menor lagoon and the Mediterranean coast.

Landing at the airport is usually quick even if you have luggage. The aircraft park only a few hundred metres from the luggage area so your luggage does not have far to travel. There are only four conveyor belts so not much can go wrong and you usually have your luggage soon after landing. It is a short walk from the aircraft to passport control. This area is often not manned. If checks are taking place then this is usually a fast process and queues are minimal, if any at all.

Immediately after leaving the luggage area there are car rental desks, the “meet and greet” area and then the exit. The airport car park is across the road outside the airport terminal. The parking payment machines are before the car park near the terminal.

If you travel using hand luggage you can be in and out of Murcia San Javier airport in minutes. Parts of the airport have been recently refurbished and it is a very nice, clean and tidy airport. There is nothing “exciting” about it, but it just works and if you are visiting the Mar Menor, Costa Calisa, Murcia part of Spain then it is recommended. If you are lucky enough to have the use of a private jet or your own aircraft then you can use the airport too.