Murcia announced their intention to start operations this year with the new airport provided that they managed to have the Corvera loan confirmed by Brussels for about 180 million Euros.
Then, Manuel Campos—Councillor for Public Works of the Murcia’s Government—said Corvera and San Javier airports would coexist until 2016. Then Aena would close San Javier to Commercial flights. All subject to the above mentioned Corvera loan.
Yesterday, MurciaEconomía informed that the European Commission answered to the Autonomous Community. They will let Murcia go into debt to face that 180 million Euros bank guarantee that had been granted to Aeromur in the past. In exchange, Brussels requested one only condition: “that the Government of Spain fixes a date for San Javier airport closure”.
Manuel Campos said Corvera would start operations in December no matter it had to be with no planes. That was subject to the fact that the European Commission accepted the bank guarantee transformation into a loan for the first 10 years. “As soon as this is confirmed, Aeromur will discharge us from the guarantee and we will be able to approve a 177 million loan for the period 2014-2023. Then, Aeromur will return the money between 2023 and 2050 with a 4.87% interest rate”. These were Manuel Campos words a few days ago to La Verdad.
Apparently, the European Commission believe in the Corvera airport viability as long as it is the only airport in the Autonomous Community. Direct competition with San Javier might jeopardize the new airport and this would mean the Corvera loan is put at risk.
San Javier airport closure depends on Aena
The San Javier airport closure is not a decision to be made by the Murcia’s government. San Javier belongs to the Aena airport net. At this moment Aena is reluctant to close the airport until the money they invested in that airport is amortised. This amortisation is expected to have finished in 2016. For that reason, both airports must coexist until that time.
As we had informed, Murcia and Aena had reached an agreement for Aena to be compensated. But this agreement depended on the contract cancellation to Aeromur (owned by Sacyr) and the negotiations with them were resumed eventually.
Therefore, the confirmation from Brussels to the Corvera loan does not unblock the situation for the moment. Now, the negotiations need to continue between the Murcia Autonomous Community and Aena.
To this respect it is worth noting that Aena just approved the Royal decree for airport regulation.
The Royal Decree takes into account the possibility of closing or selling an airport. However, that operation should guarantee the “sustainability of an airport net which general interest must be sufficient”.
Photo: Murcia San Javier airport entrance with the Aena’s logo / elyob