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Aena is to invest 50 million euros in two years on airport improvements

View of the departures area at the more modern Terminal 3.
View of the departures area at the more modern Terminal 3. / Migue Fernández
  • Many of the planned works are to be carried out during the low season for tourism to reduce the impact on passengers and flights

The airport in Malaga is preparing for further growth and Terminal 2, which was built in 1991, is to be completely renovated so that its design matches that of the most modern area, Terminal 3.

The Aena airports authority is planning to invest nearly 50 million euros in the airport during the rest of this year and in 2019. The aim is to adapt the facilities to comply with new regulations, increase capacity and improve the transit of passengers, for whom the airport is the first and last thing they see, impacting the image of the destination for tourists.

The director of the airport, Salvador Merino, with Aena's new director of Communication, María Gómez, explained this week that part of the works will be carried out during low season for the airlines, between now and March, to reduce the impact on travellers and flights.

The objective is for the airport to be prepared to handle 27 million passengers easily in 2021, although Salvador Merino pointed out that the maximum capacity at present is already 29.5 million travellers.

Malaga airport ended 2017 with a record figure of 18.6 million passengers, after increasing the number by almost four million in the two previous years. Merino didn't want to confirm whether 2018 will be the year in which the number rises to 19 million, but he did say that the growth has stabilised and there was an increase of 1.2 per cent between January and September.

"Most of the works are to do with improvements to benefit passengers and airlines, rather than capacity. Many will aim to reduce the stress of having to wait in a queue and worrying about missing the plane," he explains. "In the past two years we have grown a great deal and there have been long queues, so we are increasing the security facilities and making transit through the airport easier. In 2007 the airport had a record 13.6 million travellers and in 2017 we had 18.6 million, which is an average growth of 3.6 per cent over the decade. We are still nearly 11 million below our maximum capacity, so there is plenty of room," he said.

With regard to the investment, he explained that Aena plans to spend 21.3 million euros this year and another 17.4 million in 2019. In addition there will be money spent on improving the commercial area, such as the parking and car hire zones, and other reforms which will boost the total spend to 27.3 million euros this year and 21.9 next year.

At the moment, modernisation works are being carried out at Terminal 2, which has now been completely closed, and at night, for the six hours when there are practically no flights, the older runway is being closed from Mondays to Thursdays, so the beacons can be replaced. The second runway is used during this time, instead. This part of the works will cost 8.3 million euros.