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Clear runway to the future
The Bottom Line opinion

Clear runway to the future

The excellent planning by Aena for Malaga Airport should be news in itself. On the Costa del Sol, things normally only get done when the pressure becomes unbearable and they become obsolete shortly after their inauguration, requiring demands for expansion

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Friday, 12 January 2024, 16:29

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In a country where we are accustomed to infrastructure always arriving late, the excellent planning by Aena for Malaga Airport should be news in itself: not only because of the significance of an expansion project, which is certainly noteworthy, but also simply because they have had good foresight, working with a long-term perspective in the midst of a shameful general lack of vision.

Residents of the eastern side and the Guadalhorce area of Malaga province, to name just a few, succumb daily to traffic jams during rush hour because neither the government nor the regional administration has taken the precaution of creating new roads or promoting alternative means of transportation.

Not to mention the commuter trains, completely saturated with the lines pushed to the limit for those lucky enough to be able to use them; they are non-existent and with no hope of arriving for many large towns.

In Malaga and on the Costa del Sol, things only get done when the pressure becomes unbearable and, except for honourable exceptions like the A-7 western outer ring road, they become obsolete shortly after their inauguration, requiring demands for expansion.

In this beautiful land, a Mecca for many who dream of living here, reality always surpasses statistics, and if something is sized to serve one million, it should have been made for two or three.

Look at Malaga's metro, which reached the city centre and needed to increase its fleet (however, in this case its managers were foresighted and ordered the trains in advance); and very soon, it will be necessary to operate with double-length trains, especially during the peak hours of the city's major events, such as Holy Week.

And now the airport has given us an unexpected surprise. Discreetly, without seeking out the spotlight, its officials have commissioned one of the major aeronautical design firms, none other than the Malaga-based Aertec, to start planning the expansion of Terminal T3... for the next decade (the 2030s).

The growth of this past year has been staggering, and the final figure will be over 21 million passengers; although there is still plenty of room before it reaches its current capacity limit, which is 30 million.

In any other case (roads, trains, etc.), they would wait until it burst, and then see what to do, but Aena doesn't operate that way, probably because it is a mixed company, and its profits depend on things working smoothly. At least with our air connections, of which we are so proud, Malaga has a clear runway to the future.

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