Initially, only discount airline Ryanair used the airport, but it eventually abandoned the facility. The regional government then agreed to subsidize three flights a week by another low-cost carrier, Vueling, but it, too, has decided to pull out.
The airport's future is now uncertain. The main investor in the project, local savings bank Caja Castilla-La Mancha, went bust; it has been absorbed by regional bank Cajastur.
Like other regions, Castilla-La Mancha is responsible for healthcare and education, areas of major spending. But here, too, expenditures have far outpaced revenue, fueling a regional deficit somewhere between 4% and 9%.
"The deficit is a lot bigger than we had been told — and 'a lot' means a lot," said the region's new leader, Maria Dolores de Cospedal, whose conservative Popular Party replaced the Socialists in government in June. (The same changing of the guard is expected in a national election Nov. 20.)