Six companies have secured nominations for the management of Barcelona-El Prat Airport
The airport is the largest in Catalonia and one of the most important in Europe. The requirement for competing companies is extensive experience in airport management and significant financial stability
El Prat de Llobregat (ACN) .- Six companies and consortiums have secured nominations for the management of Barcelona-El Prat Airport. Aena will announce next week which companies have made it through to the second round of negotiations. The requirement for competing companies is extensive experience in airport management and significant financial stability. Barclona-El Prat is the largest airport in Catalonia and the second largest in Spain providing the means for both the tourism industry and the international business sector.
A total of six companies have submitted an application to Aena with the hope of participating in the auction to sell a 90.05% stake in the concessionaire services located within Barcelona-El Prat airport. Barcelona-El Prat, southwest of the city of Barcelona, is the largest and most important airport in Catalonia and the second largest airport in Spain, closely following the Madrid Barajas Airport. The airport is one of the premier European destinations. Last year alone it handled 277,832 flight operations and 104,280 tonnes of cargo according to Aena Airports. Over the last decade, the number of passengers has increased by almost ten million from 20,745,536 in 2001 to 29,201,536 in 2010 Aena (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea or the Spanish Airports and Air Navigation) the public body that regulates, owns and operates the majority of the airports in Spain, is now analyzing the individual company presentations to evaluate the technical capacity and economic and financial stability required to participate in the auction. Extensive experience in managing airports is a key requirement for the companies. In the case of consortiums, at least one member with a stake of at least 20% in the consortium must have experience in airport management. In addition to this, interested companies must be accredited by total assets an amount greater than or equal to 3,000 million euros. The companies competing for a stake in the management of the airport are: Abertis Airports, Ferrovial Aeropuertos, GMR Infrastructure Limited, Changi Airports International, Aéroports de Paris and Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide. The successful companies will be announced next week and will then proceed to the second phase of negotiations. The second phase entails a two way evaluation, of Aena by the companies and the companies by Aena. According to an Aena statement, companies will be given access to sales records, asset lists and the 'datarrom' which includes all documentation regarding the operational, technical, legal and financial situation of Aena, allowing bidders to know the situation the organisation. A spokesperson from Abertis Airports said that they believed that once the second phase was announced, the chosen companies would have little time to prepare and present their final offers. This is because the Spanish elections, which have been scheduled for the 20th November, could limit the time for submitting an offer to the end of October leaving only a few days of preparation. This would allow the new management to be in place when the next Spanish government is announced. Barcelona-El Prat is the most popular connection between Catalonia and the Madrid capital. Flights between Barcelona-El Prat and Madrid Barajas are the busiest in Europe with the greatest amount of airtraffic, a total of 80 daily operations, in the world for flights originating or arriving at a European destination. One of the main aspirations of the Catalan Government and Catalan businesses is to make Barcelona-El Prat an international hub with even more long-haul connections than it currently has. According to some analysts, many long distance flights are still only available from Madrid. One of those competing for a management stake is Abertis Airports, which has declined to submit a bid to qualify for negotiations to win a 90.05% stake in the Madrid Barajas airport, which is also being privatized. A spokesman for Abertis said that they are \u201Cconcentrating\u201D on the \u201Cmost attractive\u201D option, which they think to be Barcelona-El Prat. Although Barcelona-El Prat can trace its origins back to 1916, it wasn't until the 1970s that expansion began on a larger scale. In reaction to Barcelona securing the Olympic Games for 1992, the airport announced its expansion and redevelopment in order to cope with the increased air traffic Current negotiations are a sign of the aspirations for the airport. As publicised on the website of Aena Airports, "major improvements to infrastructure and services are currently being undertaken" in order "to modernise and prepare Barcelona-El Prat Airport for future air traffic demands".