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Aena will put out to tender the expansion of Alicante Airport in the last quarter of the year, and then that of Valencia

The Consell believes that the announcement "is not enough" and urges to specify details about the investment.

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Aena will put out to tender the expansion of Alicante Airport in the last quarter of the year, and then that of Valencia

The Consell believes that the announcement "is not enough" and urges to specify details about the investment

VALENCIA, 9 May. (EUROPA PRESS) -

Aena will put out to tender the expansion project of the Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández airport in the last quarter of 2024 and, then, that of Valencia, as the company announced this Thursday.

The president and CEO of Aena, Maurici Lucena, the vice president, Javier Marín, and the general director of Airports, Elena Mayoral, met this Thursday with the Ministers of Infrastructure, Salomé Pradas, and of Tourism, Nuria Montes, to discuss the needs of the Valencia and Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández airports.

The meeting comes after the public company announced that it will include the proposal to expand the Valencia and Alicante terminals in its next investment period, which will run from 2027 to 2031 and includes a period of consultations with the airlines.

Therefore, the Aena delegation has explained to the two councilors that the airport infrastructure planning process is based on "traffic forecasts prepared with technical criteria and forecasts from international organizations."

As a result of this process, it has been concluded that the investment priorities should be the extensions of the terminals of the Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández and Valencia airports, since these actions will allow increasing the capacity of the two airports and thus cover the demand future.

"The sustainable growth in airport, economic and environmental terms of the two infrastructures will continue to contribute to the generation of wealth and employment in the territories they serve," said Aena.

The public company has assured that "it plans its actions sufficiently in advance based on the evolution of traffic, rigorously calculated by the airport manager's technicians", and that "it has guaranteed the capacity of the airports, as shown by the fact that none of the infrastructure in the region has never been saturated".

The investments associated with the expansion of the terminals will be discussed at the proposal of Aena in the mandatory consultation process with the airlines, in a procedure regulated by a law from 2014 in which the National Commission of Markets and Competition and the regulator.

They will then be reflected in Aena's investment plan, the so-called DORA (Airport Regulation Document), which every five years includes the investments that airports need if traffic forecasts are met.

For her part, the Minister of Infrastructure, Salomé Pradas, explained that Aena "has made progress in relation to the expansion of airport terminals, but it is not enough."

"From the Consell de la Generalitat we regret that our demands in relation to the Valencia airport and the Alicante-Elche airport have not been materialized in the desired terms. They have not brought specific deadlines, nor specific investments, nor the volume of operations, only timid progress in relation to the terminals of both airports," he criticized.

Pradas has assured that the Valencian government will continue to claim the second runway at the Alicante-Elche Airport and the expansion of the Valencia Airport, with the technical-economic reports that "support this claim" prepared by the chambers of commerce.

In that same sense, the head of Tourism, Nuria Montes, has warned that the two airports "are operating practically at the limit of their capacity", which is why the Consell has asked Aena to "urgently" schedule the necessary works that are planned in the master plans, including the second runway at Alicante airport. "We cannot wait another minute, each day of investment delay costs Valencians six million euros," she stated.

Montes has stressed that Aena "has not made significant investments for many years" in the two airports despite the fact that "its investment power is certainly unquestionable." As an example, he indicated that the public company has allocated this year "more than approximately 400 million euros to one of its airports in Brazil, which would not be understood as investing this amount of money in this type of airport, which would surely "It is very good and very necessary, but equally necessary and much more urgent is the investment in the airports of Valencia and Alicante."

"We have demanded that Aena take into account the tourism, investment, industrial and Valencian and Alicante society needs" and that "the investment amount that we deserve as a society be received," the councilor stressed.

For her part, the mayor of Valencia, María José Catalá, has indicated that if the expansion of the airport is definitively confirmed they would be "very happy", but has asked for caution. Thus, asked if the City Council will participate in the investment, she replied: "In addition to statements we want documentary realities, I want to see this on paper and then I will make the appropriate assessment."