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Authorities Discuss Closure of San Javier Airport
13 September 2011 @ 15:43

An agreement to close Murcia's San Javier airport and make way for the new Corvera International Airport may be close, according to Spanish daily, La Verdad.

The negotiations between the Murcian regional Government, The Ministry of Public works and the Spanish Airports Authority (AENA) have always centred around the amount of compensation that would be paid to AENA in closing the facility, however, a sum of over 70 Million Euros in compensation is now rumoured to be on the table.

The Government delegate, Rafael González Tovar, recently raised the issue of how to compensate AENA, when they had knowingly constructed a second runway at San Javier, when they may have little use for it once Corvera International airport opened.

As far as the regional government of Murcia is concerned, they would like to see the airport close altogether, or failing that restrict itself to a small number of charter or private flights. A further option would be for it to be used exclusively as a training facility for student pilots and aircrew.

The regional government is working towards the goal of Corvera being fully operational by next summer, with San Javier leaving the field open for the new airport by the start of the summer season.

Whilst visitor number to Spain as a whole have increased this year, passenger number flying into San Javier have fallen. In August numbers fell by 3.5% and by 5.2% in July, when compared to the same period in 2010. Overall passenger numbers using nearby Alicante's El Altet airport grew by 2.3% in August, and AENA operated airports overall saw passenger growth of 4%.

The airport has always been in the shadow of big brother, El Altet, and whilst 1,876,255 passengers used the airport in 2008, numbers had fallen to 1,630,664 in 2009, before falling a further 17.2% to 1,349,000, in 2010.

AENA shares the costs of facilities with the Ministry of Defence, primarily on maintenance and safety, with the air traffic controllers being military personnel. AENA has 85 employees in San Javier, who are expected to be given the choice of taking voluntary redundancy or being relocated to another AENA operated airport.

The Implication here is clear : that once Corvera International Airport opens for business, passenger numbers are likely to fall further still and that AENA should take the compensation offer whilst it is still on the table.

Click to read further news relating to Corvera Airport.

Source: Tumbit news

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