Although the physical transfer has not yet begun, the plan is now being put into place with Aena taking the first steps to end airport activity at the San Javier facilities and move them across to Corvera, where the new regional airport is located.
Although the new airport has been virtually ready to go for five years it is only now that the management company has been appointed with Mariano Menor Muñoz, until now director of the airport at Valencia airport, being put in charge of the move.
The new title given to Menor is that of Operative Transition Director of Corvera. Having qualified as an aeronautical engineer at the Polytechnic University of Madrid Menor has been director of Valencia airport and has extensive experience in the airport environment. He started with Aena in 1991 and has managed the airports of Elche (Alicante), Malaga, Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia, all of them a major part of the tourist environment.
He has also been director of Airport Technical Exploitation responsible for drafting, implementing and updating Self-protection and emergency plans; Airport manuals; Security programmes; Technical procedures and instructions for the different airport areas, as well as the manager of Aena Internacional so he is seen as being the ideal candidate to take on the challenge of directing the transition and the transfer of the airport activity from San Javier to Corvera.
As such Aena has announced that it is now entering “a transition stage that will be closely coordinated with all of the agencies involved in order to coordinate the transfer of equipment, personnel and operations with the least possible impact,” exactly 50 years after San Javier airport was first opened, on August 21, 1967.
Aena have announced the closure of their operations at San Javier in the year in which the Mar Menor Airport has surpassed one million passengers, with an increase of passengers of almost 9% over those that it handled in 2016.
According to Aena’s calculations, an airport of medium size only starts to be profitable when it reaches half a million users a year, a level that would have been difficult to achieve in Corvera if San Javier remained open.
Many politicians and residents say that it is now almost certain that the Mar Menor will face a major tourist and economic impact following the closure of their public airport, which is among the most profitable within the Aena group and which has received several International awards international, for it’s customer service, efficiency and it’s management.