Maurici Lucena, president of Aena, has reiterated the favorable position of the organization regarding the privatization of the air control towers of seven Spanish airports. In his opinion, this process, which began in 2010, has been “very positive” both in terms of efficiency and security, which is why he classifies the Government’s proposal as “perfectly feasible” and the introduction of competition in this area as positive. service, the first attempt of which resulted in a major strike by air traffic controllers.
The entity’s CEO also considers that this action has made it possible to “reduce the costs that are transferred to the airlines” and reduce the price of the ticket for passengers. The airports affected by this privatization, still in the public consultation phase, are those of Tenerife South, Tenerife North, Malaga, Gran Canaria, Bilbao, Santiago and Palma de Mallorca. It represents the largest privatization of air traffic control management in Spain since 2010, when the liberalization of this sector began.
Aena insists that this liberalization registered in recent years has been “very good news” for the sector since the introduction of greater competition has made it possible to make “air transport activity more attractive”. In the opinion of the airport manager, until now, with the liberalizations, “safety standards have been the same and the quality of service, at least, has been just as good”, Lucena pointed out, adding that, in his opinion, it has been “even greater”.
“However we look at it, the introduction of competition has been very good for the sector because things have been done just as well or better, at a significantly lower cost, which has finally resulted in a reduction in ticket prices plane, and therefore it has benefited all citizens. This is the unanimous opinion of all the airlines. Unanimous”, settled Lucena.
Regarding the possibility of liberalizing approach or route air control, Lucena concealed that it is currently “impossible.” “With the current legal framework, the approach and route phase is not on the table, because simply from the regulatory point of view it is not possible,” argued Lucena.
The executive recalled that the airlines, the National Competition Market Commission (CNMC) and the policies of the European Union go in the direction of introducing competition in this activity, “but ultimately it is the Government in the current legislative framework, which only includes the tower air traffic control segment (not approach, or route), which will decide whether to materialize this extension of the introduction of competition in some more airports”.
“Our opinion has been consistently the same for at least 13 years, since this measure was proposed,” concluded the manager, who assured that they are “extraordinarily respectful” of the government’s decision “whatever it may be.”