Monday's queues at the check-in counters, on the day the United Kingdom lifted the travel restrictions on Covid vaccinated people. / ÑITO SALAS

Malaga's Costa del Sol airport gets a 90-million-euro investment to increase capacity

With the scheduled improvements to the airfield and terminal, between 2022 and 2026, the airport will eventually be able to handle 30 million passengers a year

PILAR MARTÍNEZ

Authorities have announced an 88.3 million euro investment in improvements at Malaga airport, between 2022 and 2026, to increase its capacity to handle 30 million passengers a year.

Pre-pandemic the Costa del Sol saw close to 20 million travellers passing through its doors every year, a level that it is expected to be reached again by 2026.

The Airport Regulation Document (DORA II), the roadmap for the Spanish airport operator Aena for the next five years, forecasts that in 2026 some 20,778,145 passengers are expected to pass through the Malaga infrastructure in 150,810 aircraft movements.

Before then, during 2022 it is forecast that passenger levels will recover to match the 2007 figure, with around 13.5 million.

Passenger number forecasts at Malaga airport / SUR

The DORA II document confirms that Malaga airport will remain the fourth most important for passenger numbers in the network as a whole, with Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca remaining ahead of the Costa del Sol.

The president and CEO of Aena, Maurici Lucena, considers that "this DORA provides stability and will be the necessary boost to guarantee an environmentally sustainable recovery in the airline and tourism sectors."

In addition, he said that "the great challenge of the sector for the next five years will be to recover the levels of air traffic prior to the pandemic and work together with the airlines to achieve that common objective."

Energy efficiency and sustainability

To do this, the document establishes a strategy of priorities, focused on energy efficiency and sustainability, and global investments in the network's airport services for the period 2022-2026 of some 2.25 billion euros. Of this, 88.3 million will be allocated to Malaga for improvements on the airfield and the terminal as well as environmental sustainability projects. With these investments, the new DORA increases the capacity of Malaga airport to 30 million passengers, which was previously set at 27 million.

Across Andalusian airports, Aena will invest a total of 155.8 million until 2026. In addition to the 88.3 million euros allocated to Malaga, 37.1 million are assigned to Seville; 14.8 million to Granada; 10.9 million to Jerez; 3.6 million to Almeria and 750,000 euros for Cordoba.

Seville airport, is expected to handle 5.5 million travellers in 2022 and it is forecast that 2026 will close with 7.2 million passing through its terminal. Granada is forecast to reach 948,659 next year and reach 1,244,046 passengers in 2026.