Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain
in the Autumn for a month or so

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Friday, 30 August 2013

Original Corvera airport concessionaire "stitched up" by politicians

The Judicial Council of the Murcia Region, with appointees from both the ruling PP and the opposition PSOE has somewhat unsurprisingly chosen to uphold the decision of the Murcia Region government to demit Sacyr as concessionaire and developer of the projected Murcia Corvera Airport, because they broke the terms of their contract by failing to open the new facility on time and further it has been indicated that the Murcia Region government proposes to sue the former concessionaire for damages for having failed to adhere to the terms of its contract.

Those are the bald facts.

I cannot however forbear from expressing my disgust! The fact that a major part of the reason for failure to open the facility on time relates to delays in achieving the regulatory approvals and approved flight paths, in the gift of the political authorities alone, to permit the timely opening of the new airport have conveniently been forgotten by the politicians who were so keen to get this doomed project off the ground. Nor of course have the politicians faced up to the fact that AENA is yet to be compensated for the EUR70 millions it spent recently on upgrading facilities at the nearby existing Murcia-San Javier (MJV) airport, whose closure is a prerequisite for any hope of a new facility so close to it of becoming even remotely viable in the foreseeable future. Basically the politicians are seeking to cover their backs, in particular because Murcia Region guaranteed a loan of EUR200 millions to allow the project to go forward.

There is no indication as yet whether an alternative concessionaire has come forward with even a semi-credible bid and in current economic conditions it is difficult to imagine any sane organisation considering doing so. In my considered opinion it would require a wilfully stupid and negligent organisation to enter into any large contract with the Murcia Region government, not only because of the current economic recession, but because of the cavalier way the existing concessionaire has and is being treated by the Murcia Region political authorities

Let's wait and see whether Sr Ramón Luis Valcárcel's professed belief that a new contract can be agreed by the end of 2013 and that the new airport will open for business in Spring 2014 has any basis in reality or whether it is purely a fantasy designed to smooth his transition from current President of the Murcia Region to the Brussels EU 'gravy train' after next year's elections to the European Parliament, which I understand is where he sees his future.

Call me a cynic, but I feel my gorge rising!

My most recent blog article on this ongoing saga:
- Valcárcel says he expects Corvera Airport will operate "in the early months of 2014." (15th August 2013)

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