It was in 875 when Abbas Ben Firnas, from Ronda, leaped off the heights of the Ruzafa valley in Cordoba equipped with flapping wings. He glided for a considerable distance as he descended. He suffered a slight mishap when landing, but was unharmed by the experience. This is the first gliding flight in recorded history.
More than one thousand years would go by before anyone would fly over Cordoba again. The next flight took place during the aviation celebrations held in May 1910. On the 19th of that month, a pilot named Barrier flew over an improvised field next to the La Electro-Mecánica factory. An aerodrome was built at this spot during the 1930s. It was from here that the Breguet XiX, Nieuport-52 and Aero-101 aeroplanes operated in support missions during the war.
At the end of the 1950s, various entities and individuals from the city promoted a public campaign to request that a commercial airport be built. The Air Ministry's poor response to this initiative forced the Town Council to build the airport at its own expense. On 14 September 1956, the Town Council obtained authorisation for its project from the Council of Ministers under the condition that the airport's buildings, facilities and land would be handed over to the state once the works were completed.
Cordoba airport opened on 25 May 1958. Nevertheless, the official authorisation for opening to civil air traffic, full domestic traffic, international tourism and technical stopovers of international traffic was not granted until October.
On 5 November, the company Aviaco started the first airline with its Madrid-Cordoba service, using a 12-seater, four-engine Heron plane. This aircraft was later replaced by a DC-3. In 1960, the route was merged with the Cordoba-Jerez service. However, as a result of its poor profitability, the Provincial and Town Councils were forced to subsidise Aviaco with the cost of covering 50 per cent of the seats in order to keep it in operation.
On 5 March 1965, by virtue of the agreement authorising its construction, the airport joined State Heritage and was appointed to the Air Ministry. One year later, despite financial support from public institutions in Cordoba, the Madrid route began to experience serious financial difficulties. As a result, Aviaco suspended all flights to Cordoba in 1967.
Nonetheless, the Provincial Council felt it was in the province's interest to keep these flights in operation. Therefore, it negotiated with Aviaco once again and agreed to pay for 60 per cent of the flight seats. The Malaga-Cordoba-Madrid route thus began in 1969 with 19-seater Twin Otter aircraft, which were soon replaced by Fokker F-27.
In 1980, Aviaco permanently cancelled its Cordoba route, which had for some years had been operating two flights a day to Madrid. That same year, the terminal was remodelled and expanded.
New negotiations by the Provincial Council, in this case with the company Air Condal from Mallorca, led to an agreement that not only enabled the Madrid flights to resume, but also established a weekly flight with Palma de Mallorca, with departure on Fridays and the return on Mondays. Operated with Hawker Siddeley aircraft, both these services began in 1983 and were cancelled two years later.
In 1995, the runway was extended and the aircraft apron was expanded.