7 Things You Need to Know About Flying Space-A to Rota, Spain
Sunshine, beautiful beaches, delicious food, and convenient access to cities all over southern Spain – that’s what you get when flying into Naval Station Rota. It’s one of the easiest U.S. bases in Europe to reach from the continental U.S., and it should definitely be on your list if you’d like to take advantage of Space-A for leisure travel.
To help you plan your trip, here are seven things to know about flying Space-A to Rota.
If you are new to Space-A flying, read this Quickstart Guide to Space-A Flights first to get a basic understanding of how the process works.
1. The most frequent flights to Rota are from the East Coast and other bases in Europe.
Rota is on the Patriot Express route originating at Naval Station Norfolk. Patriot Express flights are usually once per week. Other bases with frequent flights are Joint Base Charleston, Dover AFB, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
Wright-Patterson AFB also has occasional flights, but their passenger terminal does not have a Facebook page. You can call their Space-A hotline at 937-257-6235 for flight information.
You can also fly Space-A to Rota via another base in Europe. NAS Naples, NAS Sigonella, NAS Souda Bay, RAF Mildenhall, and Ramstein AB all have regular flights.
2. Unless you arrive on a Patriot Express flight, you must go to the National Police Station to have your passport stamped within 72 hours of landing in Rota.
Spanish immigration officials are normally at the terminal to process duty passengers when a Patriot Express flight arrives. If you are a Space-A passenger on that flight, they will stamp your passport. If immigration personnel are not there, or you arrive on any other Space-A flight, you must get your passport stamped at the police station.
The immigration office at the police station is open weekdays from 0900 to 1300. You can get a map with directions at the Rota passenger terminal. The police station is located in downtown Rota, about 1.5 miles from the gate. Be sure to bring your boarding pass.
If you land elsewhere in the Schengen area before flying Space-A to Rota, you should already have a passport stamp. For example, if you enter Germany on a commercial flight or arrive via Ramstein (where they stamp your passport in the terminal), you don’t need another stamp in Rota. If you are continuing from Rota to another Schengen country, you should still get your passport stamped.
3. Naval Station Rota has two lodging facilities and many local off-base options.
The Navy Lodge and the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites (NGIS) are both about a 15-minute walk (or a cheap taxi ride) from the terminal and a 10-minute walk from the Rota gate. NGIS has significantly more rooms. You can make Space-A reservations at both facilities up to 30 days in advance.
The Naval Station Rota AMC Gram (now on their Facebook page) lists several local hotels. Use Booking.com to see many more options. If you prefer a short-term apartment, AirBnb has numerous listings in the Rota area.
Note that Naval Station Rota has two main gates: the Rota gate, which leads to downtown Rota, and the Puerto gate, which leads to El Puerto de Santa Maria (“Puerto”). Most base facilities that you are likely to use are located near the Rota gate, which is also within a few blocks of numerous bars, restaurants, stores, and the beach in Rota. The Puerto gate is a bit farther, so while you can certainly book accommodations in Puerto, know that you will need a car to conveniently access the base.