Built during a boom and now deserted, Spain's growing ranks of "ghost airports" may not be the international air hubs their creators dreamed of - but they are still burning up cash.
When Badajoz airport, near the Portuguese border in western Spain, saw its last commercial flight take off at 8.05am on Tuesday morning, it became just the latest of many eerie signs of the country's sharp reversal of fortune.
Among them is the private airport in the eastern city of Castellon, still deserted after opening in March last year. Critics complain it pays for staff and even pest control -- all it lacks are flights and passengers.
"At the time the airport was a reasonable idea because it was linked to a broader tourism promotion project," says Eva Martinez, a member of the regional parliament from the opposition Socialist Party.
But the airport turned out to be too much. "The nearest airport, in Valencia, is barely 50km away," Martinez says.
Now Castellon and the highly indebted Valencia region, which has begun raising taxes and cutting spending on services such as healthcare, is haunted by the costs of the ghost site.
"It wouldn't have mattered if the airport had stayed as just an idea," says Martinez.
"The problem is that it is built now," she adds, detailing the E7.2 million ($A8.97 million) budget a ghost airport runs, which must be paid for "even when it is not functioning".
This includes E424,000 ($A527,954) to pay seven staff and E90,000 ($A112,066) a year for falcons and ferrets, used by airports to keep birds and rabbits away from the planes and runways.
On top of all this is E30 million ($A37.36 million) spent on advertising.
"It is an absolute scandal that in the economic situation we are in, with the Valencia region in ruin, we continue to spend money on this airport," Martinez says.
Spain, where economic growth was driven for years by a building bubble that burst in 2008, has more international airports for commercial flights than any other country in Europe: 48 public and two private.
Four of the public ones now find themselves with no regular commercial flights.