Gibraltar Airport (IATA: GIB, ICAO: LXGB) is the civilian airport that serves the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsula. It is owned by the Ministry of Defence for use by the Royal Air Force as RAF Gibraltar. Civilian operators use the airport; currently the only scheduled flights operate to the United Kingdom and Spain. Passengers depart and arrive through the civilian operated terminal.
Gibraltar Airport has the distinction of being the closest airport to the city that it serves, being only 500 metres from Gibraltar’s city centre. In 2004 the airport handled 314,375 passengers and 380 tonnes of cargo. Gibraltar Airport is one of the few Class A airports in the world.
EasyJet is the largest scheduled international carrier at Gibraltar Airport with between 14 and 18 weekly scheduled flights to London Gatwick. Monarch Airlines currently operates seven flights weekly to London Luton and three flights weekly to Manchester Airport. British Airways flies seven times weekly into Gibraltar also from London Gatwick. Andalus Airlines flies twice daily to Madrid and will do the same to Barcelona as from July 2009.
Gibraltar is a self-governing British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula and Europe at the entrance of the Mediterranean overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. The territory covers 6.843 square kilometres (2.642 sq mi) and shares a land border with Spain to the north. Gibraltar has historically been an important base for the British Armed Forces and is the site of a Royal Navy base.
A one-year investigation and analysis of 235 countries and territories by Jane’s Country Risk listed Gibraltar as the top stable and prosperous British Territory, in 5th position overall. The sovereignty of Gibraltar has been a major bone of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations. Gibraltar was ceded by Spain to the Crown of Great Britain in perpetuity, under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, though Spain asserts a claim to the territory and seeks its return. The overwhelming majority of Gibraltarians strongly oppose this, along with any proposal of shared sovereignty. The British government has stated that it is committed to respecting the Gibraltarians wishes.