San Javier Airport is now looking to the future with rather more confidence than of late

As Ryanair adds another route to its Murcia – San Javier catalogue, twice weekly flights to and from the Dutch city of Eindhoven, we seem to be none the wiser about the long term future of the Costa’s favourite small airport.

However a meeting which took place at the airport last week, presided over by the Director General of Civil Aviation of the Ministry of Development, Angel Luis Arias, may at last provide some concrete evidence that the Aviation Authorities in Spain, after millions of wasted euros on the deserted Corvera project, are finally coming to their senses.

Arias was in San Javier to chair the Murcia Airport Coordination Committee, the main purpose of which is to drive Airport air traffic to the region.

During the gathering, members, including representatives of the Ministry of Public Works, AENA, the Regional and local councils, scrutinized a study of the current status of the airfield which Arias said would serve as a starting point for the development of new measures to encourage air traffic into the airport and boost airport activity

A number of Airport coordination Committees were established at the meeting, the aim of which is to determine future measures that will ensure fiscal stability and promote the competitiveness of San Javier-Murcia within the airport sector.

They will establish and then promote the actions necessary to strengthen air connectivity through the establishment and promotion of new airlines , on both international and domestic routes.

Airport Director Paul Melgar said that these changes are intended to strengthen the management organization at the airport and enable it to “meet and overcome" the many challenges that it will face in repairing the damage done to it’s operations in recent years.

Meanwhile as San Javier – Murcia seems to be making the right sorts of move to re-establish it’s position within the sector, troubles continue to beleaguer the operation at Corvera, the latest of which is the threat of the Association of Expropriated Landowners to take their fight for compensation, following the sale of their land, to Brussels.

Luis Hernández, Secretary of the board of the Association said that the group, which includes about 150 local landowners and farmers, has requested a meeting with the European Ombudsman.

He explained that, despite meeting with local and Regional Politicians, the Corvera airport developer has so far failed to meet the prices that were agreed when the land was first procured. “Promises have not been fulfilled” he said.

The situation began over six years ago. According to Hernandez, the price for land was set by the developer at a rate well below that provided by the Community, but nevertheless, there was a 90% agreement.

He recalled that the dealership offered his group of expropriated landowners about 3 euros per square metre, compared with 11-15 euros for those owners who were compensated by the Government.

Given this difference, many of those affected decided to take their case to court, but after six years they are still awaiting a decision. "Some families are managing badly because the farms that were expropriated were their livelihood," he said.

"The courts are so very slow and we continue to wonder just how much we are going to get when the matter is finally resolved, but more importantly, who is going to pay if the airport fails to open.

With this concern, all the affected landowners gathered at the Civic Center in Murcia Valladolises last week to decide the approach they will now make to the European Ombudsman in Brussels.

Earlier, the Regional Assembly, had said that the price of any compensation for the expropriated land must be the same "as that paid for similar land elsewhere."

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43280/

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