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Following last week´s revelations that Corvera airport is continuing to assume that operations will be able to take place son, this week has seen other officials confirm that the new Murcia Regional Airport may well son be a reality, albeit at the expense of San Javier.

However, despite the growing support, the European Commission has again delayed its decision on the financial operation of Corvera airport and given a further extension to their consultation period, with a provisional date for their decision now expected on the 18th of December. This additional delay has increased restlessness and the impatience in the regional government, which is already considering alternatives to the possibility of opening the airport on the 2nd of April.

This latest delay suggests that the equity loan approval will rest with the new Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, a Danish politician who is replacing Spaniard Joaquín Almunia in early November.

At the same time that the further delay was announced, the Minister of Development of the Spanish National Government, Ana Pastor, responded to questions in the Senate and said that her department will do everything possible to ensure better connectivity in the region and open the airport at Corvera.

The Minister was responding to questions raised by the socialist, Ramón Ortiz, as to whether the government consider it essential that the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia financially compensate Aena for the closure of the Murcia San Javier airport. Noting that the current airport has excellent facilities and has served more than a million passengers this year, Pastor pointed out that with the opening of Corvera airport, the service to all citizens will be substantially improved.

The Regional Minister for Development, Manuel Campos, has stated that with the testing and operational activities continuing, and with a second inspection of the facilities scheduled for December when flight calibrations will be performed, he is confident that “December, 15”, will be the date when the certification process will be complete and the airport certified tor opening.

For their part, the airport authority, AENA; has said that it will not place any obstacles in the way of the opening of Corvera and subsequent closure of San Javier. They also state that they have informed the competition authorities of this, and that they are “more than willing” to meet the requirements of reverting San Javier back to military use, provided that the legitimate interests of AENA, both in financial terms and the needs of its employees in the San Javier airport are respected. Aena will sign the closure order for San Javier, so long as they have the approval from the competition authority.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Works and the Corvera airport concessionaire, Aeromur, are continuing with the airport certification program, which will have an initial staff of 60 employees, twenty of which have already been hired.

The operational template should be available in mid-February, which would see the opening of the airport to flights approved by the State Agency for Aviation Safety. All staff must then be briefed and trained in airport operational procedures and manuals, and will face the final inspections relating to safe operation of aircraft and the airport facility. This template for operation includes procedures and methods of work for everybody from the cleaning staff to air traffic controllers, although it is independent to the checks required of workers assigned to commercial firms to be installed in the terminal and auxiliary enterprises.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45435/

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