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Bilbao International Airport (BIO)

The Contemporary Architectural Marvel of Northern Spain

Bilbao Airport - The Gateway to the Basque Country

Bilbao Airport, known for its distinctive and contemporary design, is the main airport serving the Basque Country in northern Spain. It’s a significant achievement for the regional government, complementing the area’s transportation network. Unlike Istanbul, which has multiple airports, Bilbao has just one main airport that effectively handles both domestic and international flights.

Located approximately 12 km from Bilbao city center, in the municipalities of Loiu and Sondika, Bilbao Airport is smaller in scale compared to Istanbul’s grand aviation hub but is renowned for its unique, bird-like terminal designed by Santiago Calatrava. The airport connects various destinations within Spain and across Europe, and its sleek design has become a symbol of modern architecture in aviation.

While it doesn’t boast the massive passenger traffic of Istanbul Airport, Bilbao Airport is an important link in the region’s connectivity, offering efficient and quality services to its travelers.

Istanbul Airport is located in the Çatalca- Göktürk-Arnavutköy area, on the European side of the city, 40km/24.8 miles from Taksim and 52km/32.3 miles from Kadıköy. Set in the middle between Tayakadin and Akpinar village, it serves more than 350 domestic and international destinations in 110 countries, while its duty-free area is one of the largest (if not the largest) worldwide. For the time being, only one terminal is functional, four runways (out of the 6 in total when the project will be utterly completed) are in operation, and five concourses are home to the numerous airlines that fly from and to the airport. Last but not least, the services and facilities provided at the airport are one-of-a-kind, and of course, cutting-edge technology is applied all over the environmentally-friendly airport.

All in all, Istanbul Airport, fully functional from 04/06/19 despite the construction not being finished yet, has already become a major transportation hub connecting three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and will be developed into an even more significant aviation center as time goes by.

Bilbao Airport’s Layout

Bilbao Airport features a single, iconic terminal known for its unique design. The terminal, often referred to as “La Paloma” due to its bird-like appearance, is divided into areas for Departures and Arrivals. This modern and efficient layout ensures a smooth and swift process for travelers. The airport’s scale allows for easy navigation and a more intimate traveling experience compared to larger hubs.

Although Istanbul airport’s one and only terminal is, without a doubt, impressive, it features one main disadvantage: it has only one security control area for domestic flights and another one for flights to international destinations. This fact, added to the enormous size of the terminal, makes the airport procedures tedious and time-consuming. What’s more, the distances from the IST terminal’s central area to the boarding areas are considerable.

Airport Name: Bilbao International Airport



Location: Loiu and Sondika, Biscay, Spain

Time Zone: CET (Central European Time) UTC+1; CEST (Central European Summer Time) UTC+2 in summer

Airport Map: Bilbao Airport at Google Maps

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BIO Airlines

Bilbao Airport may not match the scale of Istanbul’s extensive flight network but offers a range of domestic and international flights. It serves numerous destinations across Europe, connecting the Basque Country with major cities. The airport is a key component in the region’s transportation system, accommodating a mix of traditional and low-cost airlines.

Parking Facilities

Parking at Bilbao Airport is well-structured, offering both short-term and long-term options close to the terminal building. The parking facilities are designed to meet the needs of passengers, providing convenience and accessibility.

Transit Options

Bilbao Airport offers several transportation options for reaching the city center and surrounding areas:

  • Airport taxis
  • Bus services, including the Bizkaibus line
  • Car rentals available at the terminal
  • Shuttle services

Services and Amenities

Bilbao Airport provides a range of services and amenities to its passengers, though on a smaller scale compared to Istanbul Airport:

  • Retail and duty-free shopping
  • Dining options
  • Luggage services
  • Medical aid
  • Banking facilities and ATMs
  • Family-friendly amenities
  • Lost & Found
  • Prayer area
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Information desks
  • Accessibility services for passengers with disabilities

Contact Info

Official Name: Bilbao Airport

Address: 48180 Loiu, Biscay, Spain

Phone Number: +34 913 21 10 00

Email: [email protected]

The City of Bilbao

Bilbao, a city in the heart of the Basque Country in northern Spain, is known for its rich blend of modern and traditional culture. It’s home to the famous Guggenheim Museum, a symbol of the city’s architectural and cultural transformation. The city offers a unique mix of historical sites, modern art, and a vibrant culinary scene. Its location near the Bay of Biscay also makes it a gateway to the beautiful beaches and coastal areas of northern Spain.


Yes, Bilbao Airport is the main international airport serving the Basque Country and northern Spain, providing both domestic and international connections.

From Bilbao Airport, passengers can use airport taxis, the Bizkaibus line for bus services, car rentals, and shuttle services to reach their destinations.

Bilbao Airport has a single, uniquely designed terminal, known for its efficient layout and modern architecture.

Bilbao Airport is renowned for its contemporary design by Santiago Calatrava, often likened to a bird in flight, and is a symbol of modern architecture in the aviation industry.


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