The story of Murcia-Corvera airport looks like the never ending story but at last someone mentioned dates for the airport to start operations.
We had learned that Sacyr and the Government of Murcia had resumed talks in December for Aeromur – owned by Sacyr – to get the airport’s concession. Five months later, there has been no news about this. In the meantime, Ramón Luis Valcárcel, president of the Autonomous Region for the last 19 years, in charge of such conversations, resigned to go to the European elections in the list of his political party (Partido Popular).
The day before yesterday, VozPopuli informed that Alberto Garre – new president of Murcia replacing Valcárcel, said that the new airport will start operations sometime between September and December this year.
“The dates we are planning are based on our expectations that Brussels approve a participative loan for us of 180 million Euros to cover the guarantee. If Brussels agreed, then we would be able to meet this deadline since the airport is ready to start operations anytime from now”. To this respect, we remind you that the European Commission just approved a regulatory framework on airport subventions.
According to Garre, no matter there is another airport in Murcia-San Javier located at half an hour’s drive from the city. An airport which serves one million passengers a year, but “has many limitations due to the fact that it is shared with the Air Force Academy and we want to have an airport without any kind of limitations”.
Likewise, Alicante-Elche airport is at a 50 minute’s drive from Murcia city. Moreover, the high speed train is expected for 2025.
Nonetheless, Garre did not want to compare this airport with the cases of Ciudad Real, which already closed orCastellón which has not even started operations yet: “a significant part of the passengers who use Alicante live near Corvera”.
It is worth noting that, in spite of the fact that some Spanish airports are recovering traffic in 2014 – which has served for Aena to freeze charges in 2015 – this is not the case of Murcia San Javier, which lost passengers by 6.3% between January and March with regard to the same period of 2013.
Photo: Jetair at Murcia-San Javier airport / Joaquin Vanschoren