Aena To Sell More Than 2,000 Ha Of Land Near Its Spanish Airports

15 November 2017 – Expansión

The state-owned group is going to sell more than 2,000 hectares of land around its airports for the construction of hotels, offices and shopping centres. The Ministry of Development is hereby launching a project that is seven times larger than Operación Chamartín.

(…) The Government has given the green light for Aena to launch what is going to be the largest ever operation involving the sale of land in Spain, according to authorised sources from the Ministry of Development speaking to El Mundo.

The new President of Aena, Jaime García-Legaz, has been given the mandate of optimising the value of the resources of the company, in which the Government holds a majority stake, and selling more than 2,000 hectares of land around the country’s main airports. Above all, the sale involves undeveloped, developable land, but it also includes some plots that are already occupied but which have a significant remaining surface area that may also be developed.

Aena’s studies, authorised by the Minister for Development, Íñigo de la Serna, involve the sale of land for the construction of hotels, offices and shopping centres, in line with those surrounding the main airports in Europe.

The land owned by Aena that has been identified as “potentially marketable” is equivalent to seven times the already gigantic Operación Chamartín, which encompasses 311 hectares to the north of Madrid and which is considered to be the largest urban development plan currently underway in the European Union.

Aena has been a major landowner since its constitution in 1990 and in its business plan, the plots of land surrounding the airports in Madrid and Barcelona are essential. Together, they are going to account for more than 50% of the total to be developed, according to preliminary estimates.

Around Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas airport, the studies have analysed a gross area of 921 hectares. Taking into account that some of the space will have to be allocated to roads and green areas, it is estimated that at least 573 hectares may be used as plots for lucrative use (…).

In Barcelona, the potentially marketable land comprises 336 hectares, of which 211 hectares would correspond to net lucrative plots. The rest of the real estate operation will focus on the airports in Tenerife Sur, Jerez and Sevilla, in particular.

The sources consulted highlight that the process will be undertaken in phases and that real estate experts will be hired to optimise the transactions, which will consist of the development, rental and sale of plots of land, depending on the option considered most attractive for Aena (…).

The share price of the public airport manager has now recovered to a level not seen since before the departure of the previous President, José Manuel Vargas. It closed yesterday at €159.40 per share, which is equivalent to a market capitalisation of more than €24,000 million. On the day that Vargas resigned, 26 September, each share was worth €151.

Original story: Expansión (by Carlos Segovia)

Translation: Carmel Drake