The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has proposed to eliminate the existing vertical integration between Aena and its parent Enaire, understanding that the current situation between both companies generates "disincentives" in the process of liberalization of air traffic control services , for which it recommends advancing in the liberalization of these services, reform initiated in 2010, to achieve "greater efficiencies".
The CNMC considers that the fact that Enaire continues to have effective control over Aena, with 51% of the capital, may have effects from the point of view of competition, especially given the advantageous starting position in the transit services market. (ATS), whose monopoly Aena had until 2010.
Air traffic services include the control and supervision of the movements of aircraft while en route (services en route), when approaching airports (approach services) and when they are at the airport (aerodrome services).
A legal reform in 2010 liberalized aerodrome air traffic services (when they are at the airport) in 18 Spanish airports. Other countries of the EU (United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany) have liberalized, in addition to the aerodrome services, the approach ones.
"The vertical integration of both companies can create perverse incentives to create restrictions on competition in the liberalized market, through the imposition or maintenance of entry barriers to alternative operators," says Competencia in a study on air traffic services in Spain published today.
The regulator indicates that there could be "conflicts of interest arising from the fact that one of the ATS service providers possesses the capacity to take or veto decisions of the company that demands its services, Aena".
Therefore, it considers that it would be advisable to move forward in the effective separation of both entities, so that Enaire no longer holds majority control over Aena and thus, "avoid possible restrictions on competition in the liberalized market".
In 2010, a process of liberalization of air traffic services of aerodrome was carried out, when they are in the airport, in 18 of the airports of the Aena network. The CNMC considers it appropriate to continue making progress in this regard in those airports that due to their characteristics allow it, always taking into account the high safety standards that characterize civil aviation in order to achieve "greater efficiencies in air traffic services and related services" .