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A plan for expansion (Plan Barcelona) was completed in 2009, adding a third terminal building (also designed by Ricardo Bofill) and control tower. The airport became capable of handling 55 million passengers annually (up from 33 million in 2007).The airport expanded in area from 8.45 to 15.33 square kilometres (3.26 to 5.92 sq mi).Scheduled commercial service began in 1927 with an Iberia service to Madrid Cuatro Vientos Airport. During the time of the Second Spanish Republic El Prat was one of the bases of LAPE (Líneas Aéreas Postales Españolas).In 1948, a runway was built (now called runway 07-25); in the same year the first overseas service was operated by Pan American World Airways to New York City, using a Lockheed Constellation.Barcelona's first airfield, located at El Remolar, began operations in 1916.
The Barcelona–Madrid air shuttle service, known as the "Puente Aéreo" (in Spanish), or "Pont Aeri" (in Catalan) literally "Air Bridge", was the world's busiest route until 2008, with the highest number of flight operations (971 per week) in 2007.
As of 2014 the two terminals had a combined total of 268 check-in counters and 64 boarding gates.
Operations at the airport are restricted exclusively to Instrument flight rules (IFR) flights, except for sanitary, emergency and government VFR flights.
(IATA: BCN, ICAO: LEBL) (Catalan: Aeroport Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, Spanish: Aeropuerto Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat), previously named Barcelona-El Prat and also known as El Prat Airport, is an international airport located 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of the centre of Barcelona, lying in the municipalities of El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans, and Sant Boi, in Catalonia, Spain, Europe.
It has been named after a former President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Josep Tarradellas, since 27 February 2019.
Intercontinental connections have not generated a significant amount of passenger traffic during the last years.