CASTELLON AIRPORT SET TO OPEN BY CHRISTMAS

Long considered a moth-balled testament to lavish waste by the regional government of Valencia, the new provincial airport of Castellón may well now open before Christmas of this year, after standing vacant for three years.

In a surprise announcement this week, the president of Valencia, Alberto Fabra, met with delegates from a Canadian group, led by the president of SNC-Lavalin Aeropuertos, Youssef Sabeh, in preparation for signing over the running of the Aeropuerto de Castelló for a period of 20 years.

Both sides initiated the document signing process with a view to conclusion as soon as practical, probably as early as next month, but in any event with a view for the airport being open to traffic by November of this year at the latest.

The specifications of the tender state a fixed period of five months from the signing of the contract until the opening of the airport, three months for certifying SNC-Lavalin as the management company and two and a half months until the start of operations. The company will also have 45 days to recruit and train staff from the signing of the contract. Therefore, if the plans continue at the pace they have begun, once signed in May, the airport would be operational by November.

In order for the Canadian group to qualify as the contract holder, they must have a minimum registered capital of 2.5 million euro and at the time of the agreement, and must spend at least 1 million. In total, their anticipated investment in the airport is worth 3 million euro.

The president of the Generalitat, Alberto Fabra, said that once the contract is signed, the company will present a number of “specific projects” for the airport and will then talk about the possible start dates for flights.

Much like a similar project in the region of Murcia, the airport in Castellon has been the subject of criticism over the last few years, even this week the regional parliamentary representative of the Esquerra Unida group, Marina Albiol, demanded answers as to why the regional government spent 26 million euro of public money in sports sponsorship for the airport, when the airport has been closed since its completion in 2011.

During its history, a number of considerations had been put to the government, including one possibility of using the airport as a car racing track, or converting it into a shopping complex, but it does now look that at least one airport will finally realize its intention of becoming a hub for the airways.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43460/

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