Behind the scenes at Reina Sofia airport!

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento

Updated 28 January: Adeje Ayuntamiento has itself now issued this report of the visit:

A city in itself!
The Adeje-based Focus group brought 40 foreign residents to Reina Sofia airport to see what goes on behind the scenes
Last week Focus, a lobby group representing international residents in Adeje, organised a visit to Reina Sofia airport. Organised in conjunction with CIT Sur (the centre for tourism initiatives in South Tenerife), the places on the trip were snapped up within hours of releasing details, such was the level of interest among foreign residents living in the area.

“We are already planning a second trip as there were so many people we had to disappoint this time”, says Focus representative Clio O’Flynn, who also works for the Adeje council on forging and expanding links with foreign residents. “These visits are organised during the school year by CIT Sur for school children as part of explaining to them the importance of tourism to Tenerife, but they agreed to do an ‘adult’ visit for us, for which we are very grateful”, she continued.

The guided tour was staffed by personnel from AENA, the Spanish airport authority, and was in English for the benefit of the international group, that included British, Irish, Germany and Norwegian participants. And while there were some hiccups, the group were fascinated to be able to view the other side of a working airport, “a mini-city in itself”, and learn how this part of tourism creates thousands of direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect forms of employment.

For many the highlight of the 3 hour tour was a trip to the Reina Sofia falconry, to see these magnificent birds who are trained to keep the airways clear of small birds and increase safety for flyers.

Focus is a lobby group of foreign residents in Adeje who are interested in helping the non-Spanish speaking community further integrate into daily life in Adeje. They have organised information seminars on Brexit, on finance for ex-pats, and have also set up visits of interest. For more information on Focus and on future events they may be planning, you can drop them a line to And even though there are based in Adeje, the trips and events they organise are open to the wider Tenerife South community.

Updated 24 January 2019: I would just like to thank Clio O’Flynn of Adeje Ayuntamiento, and the council itself, for organizing the airport visit on behalf of the Focus group (a group of local residents who try to help the council achieve integration of English-speaking inhabitants). I thought it was an excellent visit which showed so many aspects of the considerations behind developing and running an airport – from charging points for electric vehicles to the area where the rubbish is sorted, the place where the emergency helicopter lands to transfer patients to waiting ambulances, the weather monitoring and prediction … and the wonderful falcons, hawks, owl and eagle that are used to keep the airfield free of birds and other prey to ensure maximum safety for aircraft landing and taking off.

This trip was way oversubscribed so I have no doubt at all that other trips will be organized for those who couldn’t be accommodated this time. And of course the Focus group intends organizing other outings to different places of interest too, giving a glimpse into how life goes on in Tenerife behind the scenes of things we don’t usually really think about in detail. Thanks to Clio, and Adeje Ayuntamiento … and to Aena who coordinated everything and permitted our group to take everyone through parts of the airport the public never normally sees. Meanwhile here are one or two of those wonderful birds!

Original post 5 December 2018: Have you ever stopped to wonder at how an airport actually works? For most of us who moved here from abroad, Reina Sofia Airport was most likely the first Tenerife landmark we ever knew. We are, no doubt, frequent visitors to the airport as we pick up and drop off our family and friends who come to visit. And there are millions of people who visit each year and pass through the doors of that airport.

But how does it work, and how important is it to the island’s tourism industry that it functions efficiently? Now is your chance to find out with Focus, the association for international residents in Adeje, which in collaboration with CIT Sur is organising a guided visit of the airport on January 24th. The visit will take in check-in, boarding, security, and the falconry section: the airport has trained falcons who are vitally important in keeping the take-off and landing zones free of wayward birds.

The visit will cost €2.50 per person (price includes breakfast). We are opening up the visit to anyone, not just in Adeje, who would like to take part, but places are limited. If you would be interested can you please send an email to and include the name and NIF/NIE/Passport number of all those who will be joining us – this is for security reasons so please make sure you include the details for everyone included in the visit.



  1. Excellent time. I thoroughly share your sentiments.

  2. Well, I first emailed to focusadeje about an hour after you published this news, and yes, I would appreciate a simple polite reply like “Sorry, we are oversubscribed in less than 60 minutes, maybe next time”. Obviously, it was too much to expect.

    1. Author

      That’s a shame because I know the organizer and this must somehow have slipped through the net because she is efficient and most civil. I’ll mention it at the earliest possibility and hope you’ll be able to get onto a new visit.

    1. Author

      What news do you require? The visit is as described, and the list is closed because it is oversubscribed. A new visit will be organized for those who wanted to go but couldn’t get on the list for this one. As far as I’m aware, everyone who is going this time has been informed that they were successfully included in the list of attendees.

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