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I'm puzzled by Ronda, Spain having an airport code. Ronda has no airport. I've never seen an airstrip anywhere near either,

Wikipedia notes that some railway stations have IATA codes, but notes that The IATA codes for railway stations normally begin with Q, X or Z, except when the station shares the code with an airport. So according to the IATA codes it does not refer to the railway station. ITA Matrix does not know RRA.

The tourist website andalucia.com includes Ronda in a list of unsurfaced airstrips, but uniquely without coordinates. Other websites place the airstrip in or near the city centre of Ronda, which is untrue, as a topographic map confirms.

Does Ronda have an airstrip? If yes, where? If no, why does it have an IATA code?

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  • $\begingroup$ OpenStreetMap claims one here: openstreetmap.org/node/4417903302 $\endgroup$ – Muzer Jan 25 '17 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Muzer Nice find. How did you search? Confimed by topographic map, Pista de aterrizaje de CMA. So it does exist, then. Pista de aterrizaje is runway. But what is CMA? Still surprising such a tiny airstrip has an IATA code. Apparently, it is Cuerda media aerodinámica, which means Mean aerodynamic chord, which is an odd name for an airfield. $\endgroup$ – gerrit Jan 25 '17 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ I found a photo. Beautiful airstrip? goo.gl/maps/FXnKdh468y32 $\endgroup$ – gerrit Jan 25 '17 at 14:40
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    $\begingroup$ @gerrit: Possibly Consejería de Medio Ambiente, the Andalusian regional government's Ministry of the Environment. $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Jan 25 '17 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ @JonathanReez: Aviation deals more in ICAO matters than in IATA ones. $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Jan 25 '17 at 15:26
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The short answer seems to be that Ronda has no assigned IATA code, and RRA isn't in use anyway. That's according to IATA's own directory; third-party sites aren't always reliable.

An airport was in fact proposed for Ronda in the 1980s and never built; the City rejected the license application in 1983. I found two old articles about it from El País: in July 1983 they reported a dispute between the airport's promoter, Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and the Ayuntamiento de Ronda (the city council):

Su promotor, el príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, pretendía sacarlo adelante con una licencia de obra menor por valor de medio millón de pesetas, y asegura que para montar el Marbella Club y lanzar el turismo en la Costa del Sol no le pidieron tantos requisitos. El alcalde, el socialista Julián de Zulueta, recela de intereses ocultos tras el proyecto, descarta la tesis de que se trate de un simple aeródromo deportivo y no está dispuesto a permitir su construcción si no es con todos los requisitos.

Its promoter, Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe, claimed he could proceed with a construction license for less than half a million pesetas, and said that building the Marbella Club and promoting tourism in the Costa del Sol hadn't been so demanding. The Socialist mayor, Julián de Zulueta, is suspicious that there may a hidden agenda behind the project, rejects the claim that it will be a small, recreational aerodrome, and is unwilling to allow construction unless all formalities are complied with.

By October the same year, the council had formally rejected the plans:

El Ayuntamiento de Ronda decidió, en pleno extraordinario, denegar cualquier licencia para la polémica construcción de un aeródromo en las afueras de la ciudad.

In an extraordinary session, Ronda City Council decided to deny a license for the controversial construction of an aerodrome on the outskirts of the town.

The articles say the runway was intended to be 2,200m by 80m (7,200ft by 262ft) which, if true, certainly seems to be excessive for the light, recreational traffic and gliders that the Prince claimed would use it.

I couldn't find any more recent references to an airport in Ronda.

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Apparently, there is an airstrip a roughly 4 km east of the town, as confirmed by an IGN map, IGN aerial photography, and Openstreetmap (Thanks Muzer). It does not give the impression of active use; a Panoramio photo shows a field of sunflowers. Its full name on the topographic may is Pista de aterrizaje de CMA, which means Runway of the CMA, where CMA may be Consejería de Medio Ambiente, ar the Andalucian government's Ministry of the Environment (thanks Henning Mankolm).

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    $\begingroup$ I seriously doubt though that that airport would have IATA code, especially since it does not even seem to have an ICAO one—ourairports identifies it as just ES-0071 $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jan 29 '17 at 11:23

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