Wednesday, 8 February 2023, 17:20
If the Government's plans go ahead, the control tower at Malaga Airport will be privatised in the coming months.
The Costa del Sol airport looks likely to be affected by the Ministry of Transport’s plan to outsource control tower operations, at the suggestion of Aena, along with six other airports which include Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife South, Tenerife North, Gran Canaria, Bilbao and Santiago. It is the biggest step in the privatisation of these air services since 2010, when the process began.
The Ministry of Transport is drafting a ministerial order which, according to information gathered by Europa Press from state sources, is to improve the competitiveness of air transport in Spain and contribute to lower air ticket prices. The outsourcing would affect the towers with the most air traffic, with the exception of Barajas in Madrid and El Prat in Barcelona, which are excluded from this proposal. The government claims that the experience to date of the service provided by private providers has been "significantly positive" in terms of quality and economic efficiency.
However, Malaga's air traffic controllers warn that this step will be detrimental to the city. "It means replicating the 'low cost' policy as is already happening in Ibiza and Alicante," a spokesperson for the group said. Furthermore, such a move, would mean the loss of several technological projects currently being led from the Malaga Airport control centre. "Malaga is a first class tower, for the city to lose this service is very serious," a spokesperson for the group added.
If the initiative goes ahead, the current controllers will be replaced by new staff, with little previous experience, while the Malaga workers will be assigned to approach tasks or to other control centres in Seville, Madrid, Barcelona or Palma.
The 86 Malaga controllers are to undertake an awareness-raising campaign to ensure that the Ministry of Transport's draft does not include their tower, due to its importance in national air traffic.
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