Madrid - Colmenar Viejo (Coronel Maté)

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Last Validated Aug 2008
City Madrid
Position 40°41'48"N 003°45'49"W
Runway(s) 04/22
Elevation 3260 ft


Colmenar Viejo is the major Spanish army aviation base. It also houses the headquarters of FAMET. The base is north of Madrid and within easy driving distance of Barajas airport.


The base is on top of a hill and features housing areas and hangars on the west side. The east side is fairly open albeit on top of a slope. The perimeter fence hugs the base quite tightly enabling you to approach the base. The base is in the southwest corner of a nature reserve. Officially you can enter this nature reserve only with a permit that you can get after paying some legal charges at the city hall. Since Summer 2008, the area is signposted as private property by a large shield at the gate.

Getting There

Colmenar Viejo can be reached off the M-40 motorway by taking exit 57 heading to Tres Cantos and Colmenar Viejo. This is road M-607. You will have to stay on the M-607 road passing Colmenar Viejo town on the east. The third exit for Colmenar Viejo is the one you need to take, but go north east on the M-625 heading for Guadalix de la Sierra. There is a small sign that says 'FAMET' as well.

Around the Airport

1North west side view

After passing the base which will be on your right hand side, turn right immediately after the fence bends east. Follow the path and park your car. Walk up to the walled off terrain, there is a gate were it meets the base fence. Open the small gate and head for the first large collection of rocks and trees. From there you can read off the Chinook codes.

2North east side view

For the smaller choppers, you need to walk a bit further. The terrain slopes down but so does the base. From a spot that is on the imaginary 45°degree line off the northeast corner of the base, you can read off the codes of the Hueys and the odd Bolkow. You will now be to the east of the northern approach which should enable landing shots.

3South side views

The nature reserve can be entered from the south side as well. For this, take the road that runs to the east just south of the base. You can not miss this, it is opposite a distinctive circular building on a hill top. Make a left towards the base after passing a horse farm and just before the road bends right. On this side there is also a gate into the reservation. This side is markedly lower that the north side though, but you are able to have a distant peek into the westernmost Chinook hangar. Also, the southern approach runs over this terrain, although the helicopters will be quite high.

4West side preserved aircraft

From the road running past the west, th M-625, you will be able to view the preserved aircraft. Two are on the far side of the entrance road, so slow down near the gate. North of the gate there are three more and just before the base ends another Bell 206 can be seen in front of a building further on base.

Chinook on the platform at Colmenar Viejo

From spot 1 and 2, the view on the main platform is good.

Based Operators



HR.12-1/ET-109AB206A-1 as 'HR.12B-15' (gate)
HE.15-6/ET-137Bo105C (gate)
HR.15-18/ET-160Bo105GSH (on base, along entrance road)
HE.7B-26/ET-102OH-13S (on base, along entrance road)
HR.12B-9/ET-118OH-58A (on base, south of north side buildings)
HU.8B-10/ET-206UH-1C (gate)

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