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The government in Madrid has now given final approval for Murcia’s new Corvera Castellon Airport to go ahead.
The new airport will be directly linked to the several new motorways across Murcia and to the main A7 north-south motorway. The Spanish Airport Authority AENA intends to continue operating the existing airport at San Javier and has invested heavily in constructing a second control tower and a second runway (which is completed but not yet in use). .
The project has been promoted by the regional government for many years as an alternative to the existing airport at Murcia San Javier which handles over two million (mainly British passengers) a year.
The regional government has already awarded the concession to construct and operate the new Corvera airport and all that was holding up works was the final approval from the Ministry of Development. .
The construction contract and 40 year management concession has gone to Aeromur SA, who are expected to start the two year project in the summer of 2008 to be completed by 2010. The new airport will have an initial operating capacity of 1.5 million passengers, going up to 5.2 million in 2015 and then, in a second phase of construction, increasing to 8.7 million.
Latest News on Corvera Castellon Airport
Update 5th February, 2010: Work on the new Castellon Airport has suffered another six month delay and is now due for completion on June 30th 2011. It will then have to run a series of tests before it commences commercial services, so passengers are unlikely to be able to use airport until September 2011.
The delay in the building work is down to financial problems the construction company has faced which include a fine of €120,000 because they did not present their financial plan within the 18 month deadline.
Latest News 28th January 2010: The President of the Murcia Region Autonomous Community has laid the foundation stone for the access highway to the new Corvera Airport. This road will offer two access points at km 161 and km 164 of the A-30 (Albacete-Murcia) motorway, where roundabouts will be constructed. The new access highway will be integrated with the newly opened RM-19 (Mar Menor) highway.
The airport access highway will have two lanes plus a cycle lane to its left and can be expanded to three lanes if required.
The Castellon Airport control tower is now finished and the main terminal building is well under way. When the new airport is opened it should be capable of handling around 3 million passengers every year, but the design means in time it could handle an increase over time of 12 million passengers a year within the design specifications.
It now appears that flights could start operating there by summer 2011.
Update on 30th November 2010:The regional government of Murcia has come to the rescue of the new Corvera Airport which is facing uncertainty because of financial problems. They have decided to back the new airport up to €200 million euros.
The building work slowed down a few months ago because of the failure to obtain a bank loan of €160 million euros which was the sum needed to complete the construction work which began in July last year.
If all goes to plan and the money is forthcoming the airport now looks set to be finished by the end of 2010. Due to the huge financial risk the regional government is taking in guaranteeing this bank loan, they are imposing strict conditions on the contractor stating that the cannot exceed €200 million euros, and must take place within a month of the change in the law, which comes into force on January 1st 2010. The loan will have to be repaid two months after completion of the building work.
News received October 2009: while Reus and Manises Airports are already offering special deals for next year’s holiday season, Costa Azahar companies are not taking the risk of promising anything as the completion dates are still unknown.
The airport directors are holding regular talks with various airline companies, predominantly the low-cost operators, which is the same market coveted by its competitor Reus. So far only the Valencian operator Air Nostrum has confirmed its presence, Romanian Blue Air has shown some interest and negotiations continue with Air Berlin, Ryanair and Vueling.
Work on the airport is 97% complete according to the developers, but there are still various outstanding requirements that threaten it summer 2010 opening. The main obstacle being permission from the Spanish development ministry for flights to be allowed to take off and land from the Vilanova runways.
Other outstanding points include issues of security and border control and access with the A-7 motorway scheduled to reach the site before the end of the year.
You can find out more information at the website www.aerocas.com
In German the airport is called Castellon Flughafen