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As local airports continue to make headlines and as just about everyone in the area, apart from Murcia’s politicians, question the viability and logic of building an airport within an hour’s drive of Alicante, the future of Corvera International is being increasingly called into question.

The latest development in the ongoing saga is the recent withdrawal by the Regional Government of Operator Aeromur’s management contract, after it was concluded that the former Minister of Development, Manuel Campos, had acted irregularly by initially granting it’s authorisation.

And what that essentially means is that all the initial airport licensing, which includes safety certification, flight path calibration, as well as a number of other management and operating licenses, are no longer valid and will have to be applied for once again.

The Regional Minister for Infrastructure, Francisco Bernabe, said that Aeromur should never have been allowed to apply for certification after their concession had been cancelled. However he also said that his department is now working on a new airport inventory which he hopes will be ready by the end of the month.

Once that is concluded a Private Consultant will be engaged to prepare the terms and conditions necessary which will then allow a new round of bidding by companies for the concession to operate the airport.

It can only be after this new concessionary appointment has been made, suggested as being toward the end of this year, that necessary licenses may once again be applied for. And of course there will also be one additional difficulty; the new European regulations which took effect in January will also be current, making any application process even more complicated than before.

He said that any inventory must be accurate and would be expected to include the current flight levels at San Javier Airport as well as realistic economic projections. He explained that even now the situation regarding the closure of San Javier Airport was still to be resolved, but that his department were currently working with the National Ministry of Development in a joint effort to formalise the situation, as well as drafting the necessary documentation which would outline any necessary compensation as well as its closure, which Aena would be required to sign.

The one very important factor that the Minister wouldn’t be drawn on, however, was the continuing development, or otherwise, of the adjacent Paramount Theme Park, the building of which was one of the major issues in the original decision to build the new international airport. It is perhaps suggestive that the last “Official Press Release” issued by builders Premursa was 3 years ago in 2012 and that all subsequent news articles issued on their website have expertly avoided giving any sort of opening date for the new facility.

We all remember the launch three years ago when Jesus Samper, President of Santa Monica Sports Group and President and CEO of PREMURSA, said that at a cost of 10.5 million € the first park of it’s kind in Europe was aimed at turning the Murcian municipality into a continental reference in the leisure and entertainment field by 2015

But as of today Corvera airport still stands empty. The main entrance to the airport is fenced off, and there is little sign of activity within the airport compound itself, and with the Paramount theme park project seeming to have stalled, and with little argument that San Javier Airport remains a far better location than Corvera for tourists visiting Torrevieja and other popular Costa Calida seaside resorts to the south, we continue to wonder whether Corvera will simply join the country’s many other mothballed airports, testament to the falling passenger numbers and the ongoing economic pressures still being felt by us all.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47526/

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