The minister of Fomento, Ana Pastor, announced they are working on a regulatory framework for the Aena privatisation which guarantees the public interest of the Spanish airport net before its privatisation. This regulatory framework should have been developed by the end of the current year.
However she said that the privatisation will start “only when the Government is ready and the appropriate market conditions are detected”.
Pastor explained that the new regulatory framework “will set the maximum quality and service levels, as well as schemes for revenues and investments”. Also, the maximum charges would be regulated, considering that a big concern of the industry is that the airport fees might increase after the privatisation.
The relationship between the Ministry of Fomento and Aena will be established through a Document for Airport Regulation—DORA in Spanish—which will approve a consulting period to set the guidelines for the airport net evolution, the traffic forecasts and the quality standards. All in a five-year plan which estimates the maximum income per passenger. This way, the necessary yearly adjustments to the prices will be made.
“The intention is therefore to make the general interest compatible with the privatisation of Aena”. Pastor said that these five-year plans will include all the necessary requirements with regard to the quality service so that nobody can fix the the airport charges as it pleases.
Furthermore, she explained that the operators will be “more important for everything” and reminded that, currently, there are consultations with them during the new pricing policy.
For a deeper knowledge on the current privatisation plan you can read our post Airlines request consensus before the Aena privatisation
On the same subject, ElMundo.es informs this morning that the home stretch of the Aena Privatisation is facing some obstacles which are delaying the decision-making.
Even though Pastor said the delay is due to the market conditions, ElMundo says that it is more due to political reasons: Despite the strong defence of the airport net model—all airport depending on the same entity—there might be increasing pressure to go back to the concession model that had been analysed in the past.
But above all, the main reason would be to avoid fights with the local governments. With a privatisation of Aena by 60% the non profitable airports might end up being closed. Currently, 39 out of 47 airports lose money.
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