According to an article in Eldia.es, the association for the defense of infrastructure in Tenerife asked Aena to build a new terminal in the Tenerife Sur Airport taking into consideration that the passenger capacity is currently at 90%. Furthermore, they warned that if the issue of new infrastructure is not addressed, whose planning and development could take between 8 and 10 years, the Reina Sofía (Tenerife Sur) Airport will reach a situation of inadmissible collapse on an island whose economy depends on its airport infrastructure. This airport is especially important since 70% of the economic flow funnels through it.
The business sector supports the creation of a new terminal and considers that in two or three years air traffic will have surpassed 10 million passengers. The association considers that, “the development and opening of the new terminal is estimated in 8 to 10 years, so we are late”. This stance was transmitted to the director of the Canary airports, Mario Otero Andión, and to the director of the Tenerife Sur Airport, Santiago Yus Sáenz, in the meeting which took place on Monday. According to the association, airports like Malaga and Alicante-Elche have undertaken important investments in new terminals, which has permitted the radius of passenger per square meter and year to be around 60 passengers, 38% less than the current terminal in Tenerife Sur.
Another aspect that worries the association is that the new terminal they are demanding is left off the Airport Regulation Document (DORA). The document describes an investment plan destined to guarantee the maintenance and adaption of the network of airports with 450 million Euros in spending a year. The investment that AENA predicts the island will need between 2015 and 2018 only includes maintenance, “there isn’t any new investment”, a new terminal isn’t included in the estimates.
Tenerife Sur is the second largest airport in passenger traffic in the archipelago and the seventh largest in Spain. Moreover, it’s the number one tourist airport in Aena’s network, 92% of the passengers travel for tourism. It connects the island with hundreds of destinations, especially the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, not to mention the flights to other places in Spain, Europe, America and Africa. The association explains that “at peak times, like Fridays for example, the terminal has reached its capacity limit”. They go on to mention that the terminal will soon turn 50 years old and that it won’t be able to comply with the new demands of travelers.
Aena considers it unnecessary
Aena, on the other hand, explained that at this time building a new terminal is unnecessary because there is still a margin for growth. Aena considers the annual terminal capacity to be 12 million passengers which means that the average annual occupancy is currently at 76.5%. The businessmen from the association do not agree with this number considering that even the Plan Director of the airport puts the terminal capacity at 10 million. The representatives from Aena said that the Tenerife airport will not slow the island’s growth but propel it forward though its security, capability and quality.
Aena is planning on investing 16 million Euros in the Tenerife airport, though the money will be mainly spent on maintenance works and restoration.
The Tenerife council demands a new terminal from Aena
According to Eldia.es, the president of the council of Tenerife, Carlos Alonso, said that if Aena wouldn’t collaborate in the expansion of the Tenerife Sur airport that it will come up against a “very, very, very difficult” campaign. He said that the campaign would have island regional cooperation and support from society in general.
Carlos Alonso insisted that Aena should either “pay attention to them now because they are right or start a battle in the media and with the citizens”. He also said that something similar happened in the Tenerife Norte airport until Aena accepted the expansion of the airfield’s operating hours.
Photo: Tenerife Sur Airport Terminal /MarinoCarlos