Competition intensifies its demand to Aena: 3.5% reduction for 2016 within 10 days

Málaga airport, Terminal 3. Wikimedia Commons.

Aena had frozen charges until 2025 but the National Competition Commission (CNMC) published a report against that decision, urging Aena to lower fees. However, not only Aena said they wouldn’t but they presented an appeal against the CNMC’s report. That appeal was accepted by the National High Court last month and, on Friday, Vozpopuli reported that it is the only way for Aena to avoid having to apply for such reduction. At the moment, unless the National High Court accepts the precautionary measures requested by Aena, the airport charges will have to be lowered 3.5%.

This is the level of the reduction required by the CNMC in a note sent to the Stock Market National Commission (CNMV) last Thursday. With it, Competition intensifies its demand to Aena requesting that they present a new proposal which includes a reduction of 3.5% or they will make allegations in no more than 10 days.

To this respect, on Wednesday Elconfidencial reported that not only the CNMC thinks the airport charges should be reduced 3.5% as a consequence of a change in the interpretation of the “dual till” model, but they should even be reduced up to 10% when they take into consideration another disagreement with the Tariff Deficit. “This Tariff Deficit allows Aena to take benefits from the enhancements made in its management. Hence the Government accepted a Tariff Deficit of 1.100 million between 2012 and 2014”. From the CNMC’s point of view, this amount should be compensated in the next year. However, reducing fees by 10% would mean a reduction of 1,000 million Euros in Aena’s market value.

For this reason, the Minister of Development (Fomento), Ana Pastor, presented another appeal against CNMC through Enaire. Enaire is a 100% State owned company, which in turn owns 51% of Aena. So the situation is really difficult at the moment between Enaire and the CNMC, two entities of the State.

The latest news was published on Friday by ElEconomistathe Ministry of Development will change the law to avoid further interferences from CNMC. So far, according to the Document for Airport Regulation (DORA), Competition is entitled to publish a report on Aena prices. But as soon as this period of 10 days is over, both proposals from the CNMC and Aena will be forwarded to the Ministry. There, this source reports that a decision will be made in favour of Aena. Thus they will propose to the Ministry of Finance that the charges remain frozen and no reduction is applied. This proposal will be accompanied by the expected change in the law.

Photo: Málaga airport, Terminal 3. Wikimedia Commons.