Aena tariff freeze:
The ministry of Development—Fomento—is ready for the Aena tariff freeze in the Spanish airports until 2025.
The Royal Decree draft of the Document for Airport Regulation (DORA) takes into consideration the Aena tariff freeze until 2025. This is expected just after the confirmation of the privatisation by 49% of Aena Aeropuertos.
The target is to bring more traffic to the Spanish airports. Hence, the Aena tariff freeze will be subject to conditions such as “possible regulatory changes or unforeseen occurrences”.
Thus, the draft fixes the Aena tariff freeze until 2025 provided that the investments in the net are not over 450 million Euros in a year. Another condition will be that the airport costs do not increase over 1%.
During the last ten years, the investment of Aena reached 17,000 million Euros. The Madird airport Terminal 4 was the most important investment in this period.
The Competition Commission issues an urgent report
The Ministry of Development requested an urgent report on this Royal Decree draft to the National Competition Commission.
Amongst the known details, it is worth mention that the public side of Aena—Air Navigation—will be named Enaire. Then, Aena Aeropuertos will be named Aena S.A. They are the owner of the airports and the 11,500 million Euros debt holder.
The Competition Commission had already announced that they are not happy with the proposed privatisation model. In this report, they confirmed they do not like the Aena tariff freeze until 2025 either. This “generates a tariff deficit because of imbalanced costs and benefits”.
Competition also referred to the privatisation model in their report. They suggest a regulatory framework which “is predictable and agreed”. This means an individual management of the airports instead of an airport net model.
In their view, this would allow:
- To make more efficient investments
- To have other airport operators working in Spain, apart from Aena
- To have an independent and stable airport regulator who is capable of generating confidence in the industry.
Competition thinks it is positive to open 49% of Aena to private investors in November. However, they insist on the need of avoiding the central management of the airports. They suggest other models like the licensing in lots.
Their report finds inefficiencies caused by “the lack of an independent regulator”, the existence of “incentives to non justified investments” or the centralized way for setting charges which “blocks a commercial policy based on the needs of each airport”.
According to Competition, the airport net model is the reason why measures have not been taken to reduce the size of a 46 airport system. Spain has seven airports amongst the biggest ones in Europe. However the average passengers in the net are below other airports in the Continent.
Photo: Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport check-in counters / Marc