Arrecife Airport (ACE)
Holiday makers bound for Lanzarote would do well to familiarize themselves with their first entry point into the island and the last place they will see before they head back home – the Lanzarote airport. Arrecife Airport, known locally as Guacimeta and internationally as ACE, is the only airport on the island. It serves chartered and scheduled international flights, as well as local flights between the Canary Islands.
ACE was conceptualized during the 1930s, when it was decided that there should be a way to connect mainland Spain with the Canary Islands. In the early 1940s, a large plot of land along the Guacimeta coastline was chosen for its site and in 1946, Lanzarote Arrecife Airport was up and running. Many improvements and renovations have been applied to the airport over the years, including the addition of a new two-storey terminal, dubbed Terminal One, in 1999.
Terminal One, or T1, services international flights. Departures are handled on the upper floor, while Arrivals are on the lower floor. The old terminal, T2, has been renovated to handle national and inter-island flights. The continuous improvements and refurbishments have produced an excellent airport whose facilities are at par with a major international airport. Below are the facilities and services that can be found in this Lanzarote airport.
There are several cafes, bars, restaurants, and fast food services in the airport, including Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Häagen Dazs. Most of the eateries are located in the Departures section of T1, though the Arrivals hall has its own cafeteria. Indoor and outdoor seating is typically available. There are outdoor terraces for those who would like to smoke before boarding the plane.
Shops and Money
Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 boast of large, diverse shopping areas. Shops include duty free shop, Cesar Manrique gift shop, toy shop, newsagents, florists, clothes and shoes shops, and tobacconists, among many others. There is also a pharmacy and travel agency.
There are at least 4 Cash Machines (ATMs) located around the terminals, as well as foreign currency facilities.
There are designated areas in the car park and terminals for disabled passengers. Ramps, a lift, wide doors, and adapted toilet facilities are built into the terminals. Passengers can make prior arrangements with their respective airlines to request for wheelchairs.
There are three main options for travel upon arriving at the Lanzarote airport, namely, through taxi, car hire, or bus. A large supply of taxis is waiting just outside the Arrivals area. Taxis are clean, well-maintained, and are highly recommended as a mode of transportation within the island. It should be noted, however, that the taxi queue can be quite long during the peak season. It would be best to hire a car during these times. Car hire operators can be found in the Arrival halls, though it is better to pre-book a car during peak seasons.
Although there are buses that travel from the airport to the main capital of Arrecife, there are no direct rides from the airport to the main resorts. While it is possible to take connecting rides from Arrecife, this is a tedious process and can be difficult unless one knows how to speak Spanish.
Information Centre and Communication
ACE has an information centre and there is always at least 1 staff member who is fluent in English. The VIP Lounge has telephones and Internet services, while the lottery outlet has a fax and photocopying service.
As the only air gateway to the popular Lanzarote island, ACE is a fairly busy airport – especially on Thursdays, which is the main changeover day of passengers. Despite its small stature this Lanzarote airport holds up to the task of servicing flights and their passengers on both an international and local level. One airport review says its best, “…you get everything that a big airport has, but it’s all much easier to find.”