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AENA REFUSING TO CLOSE QUIET AIRPORTS

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AENA REFUSING TO CLOSE QUIET AIRPORTS

Spanish airport authority AENA has stated that they will not close down some of their least profitable airports in Spain, despite the demands of the European Union.

Auditors from the EU reported that there are nine airports which should be closed down, on account of them failing to achieve the minimum 100,000 passenger count.

The airports under threat are located at Badajoz, León, Burgos, Salamanca, Logroño, Vitoria, Córdoba, Albacete and Huesca. The busiest of the airports is Badajoz, registering 36,934 passengers up until November of 2013, whereas Huesca is the quietest with just 259 passengers. The cost of keeping the airports open is 69.9 million euro per year, with an accumulating debt of 756 million euro, plus interest.

Aena has said that it has no plans to close any of the airports named, despite the number of passengers at each of the airports being far from reaching a scale of profitability.

In addition to the 100,000 passenger threshold demanded by Europe, Aena is also being threatened by the Spanish government, who are insisting they modify efficiency plans at airports with fewer than 500,000 passengers. These plans focus on three key performance indicators, namely related to time, flexibility in working hours and mobility, amalgamating common services across the network, and increasing the surface space available for retail outlets.

The government has also approved a change to the legislation relating to charging airlines to use airports, equalling the rates around the clock, irrespective of day or night, in the hope of eliminating after-hours supplements, with the aim of encouraging daytime operations at airports that currently focus more on night flights in a view to save operating costs for the airlines.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46048/

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