The Lack of a Spanish Government Halts Aena’s Real Estate Ambitions

14 October 2019 The airport operator Aena has yet to get approval to go ahead with construction on two residential developments around Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat due to the lack of a political agreement to form a new Spanish government. The firm had hoped to start the works in Madrid and Barcelona this year. However, the plots of land are still untouched.

Aena’s project in Madrid will occupy around 200,000 square meters of land in a total investment forecast at €2.997 billion over the next 40 years. Existing plans divide the space into four areas: a logistics hub, airport services, an aeronautical maintenance centre and leisure areas.

In Barcelona, ​​the 300,000 square meter area will have a total investment of €1.264 billion. The project will try to attract technology companies and logistics platforms as well as hotels, restaurants and offices to service the airport.

Funds that invest in the airport operator have been pushing the government to install an independent CEO, separate from any governmental changes, to facilitate work.

Original Story: Economía Digital – Carles Huguet

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Aena Commissions Real Estate Plans for its Airports in Palma, Málaga, Valencia & Sevilla

7 December 2018 – Voz Pópuli

Aena’s real estate development of its two main assets, the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat airports, is going to continue at other major airports in the network where the company has land reserves. At least, that is the intention of the company chaired by Maurici Lucena (pictured below), who has commissioned research to analyse the options for generating returns from its land at the airports in Palma de Mallorca, Málaga, Valencia and Sevilla.

The airport manager, in which the State owns a 51% stake, is going to invest more than €2 million to engage an expert to analyse the options for the plots and, where appropriate, develop the real estate plans, which will follow in the footsteps of those already designed for Madrid and Barcelona, where the combined investment is going to exceed €4.6 billion (most of which is expected to be financed by the private sector).

The strategy involves devising an identical roadmap to the one followed for the plans at the two major infrastructures, namely: engage an external advisor to analyse the plots that Aena has in the area around the four airports and identify opportunities for the development of real estate activities that could be performed on them. Based on the results of the reports, the company will decide whether to go ahead with the operations, as well as on the definitive design of them.

Although the manoeuvre is still at an early phase, all indications are that, in theory, activities relating to logistics and air cargo are those that have the greatest potential for capturing a leading role in the future development of the four infrastructures.

Airports on the rise

Palma de Mallorca and Málaga-Costa del Sol are the two busiest airports with the greatest passenger numbers in the Aena network, aside from Madrid and Barcelona. The former has seen an increase of more than 17% in passenger numbers over the last two years and closed last year with a record of almost 28 million visitors, which could be pulverised in 2018, with a figure that may exceed 30 million.

Meanwhile, Málaga has experienced an increase of almost 30% in passenger numbers over the last two years and is also on track for a record year in 2018, which could close with around 20 million users.

Valencia and Sevilla are in the top 12 of the airport ranking in Spain by passenger numbers although, in their cases, the appeal of their land stems more from their proximity to the two most populous cities in the country outside of Madrid and Barcelona.

1,000 hectares still available

According to the figures presented by the company when the details of its strategic plan for 2018-2021 were published, Aena owns a potentially marketable surface area of around 2,000 hectares, of which 50% corresponds to the airports in Madrid and Barcelona (…).

Aena’s plans were launched during the company’s previous stage, under the presidency of Jaime García-Legaz. The current management team is not only continuing that strategy, but it also seems to be willing to bet decisively on it.

Indeed, the strategic plan emphasises the need for the company to diversify its revenue streams, both through the commercial operation of its airports and through real estate plans designed to generate returns from its land around Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat (…).

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Raúl Pozo)

Translation: Carmel Drake