The Canarian engineer Alejandro Ibrahim makes the airport of Teruel profitable – La Provincia

The Canarian engineer Alejandro Ibrahim makes the airport of Teruel profitable - La Provincia


Alejandro Ibrahim Perera was born in 1965 on Rafael Dávila street in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. At age 18, he went to study Aeronautical Engineering in Madrid and that was the start of a brilliant academic and professional career that took him, six years ago, to the Teruel Airport Management, after winning the public tender. Today, said airport infrastructure, in which hardly any passengers pass, is a reference as a profitable business model. It has become Europe's largest aircraft parking and maintenance platform. In four years, Ibrahim Perera has managed to multiply the number of operations by ten.

"The airport was opened for public use of commercial transportation in February 2013, and I entered as director in September of 2012. Until then there was no civil airport in Teruel, and the Government of Aragon decided to promote this. As a passenger airport, it did not have much future -we are in the middle of Valencia, Zaragoza, Madrid, Barcelona-, and we had to look for a different business model, "said the doctor of Aeronautical Engineering, Executive MBA, Master in Computer Science and aviation pilot. and instructor Aviation Security AVSEC certified by the State Agency for Air Safety, AESA.

Seeing the possible outputs, Ibrahim decided to direct it to the aeronautical industrial activity. All a success considering that today exceeds in billing more than 20 airports in the Aena Network, without passengers. "I had been working for 14 years in an Aena company of Aeropuertos Españoles, in the central services, in Madrid, where I was comfortable, but the opportunity arose to run a new airport, it caught my attention, it was a public tender, I was selected and I came with my family, professionally what motivated me most was to have the opportunity to do something unique, and nowadays I can say that it was a success, "he said.

Teruel Airport is the only one in Spain dedicated to the recycling of large aircraft. "Here we give them an appropriate end when they complete their life cycle, remove all the material from the interior, piece by piece, and do what is called reverse logistics, which is to take advantage of all those elements for second-hand aircraft. separates by materials (iron, copper, aluminum …), the plane is cut into pieces and sent to authorized managers to recycle the material, "he said.

To this recycling function, its role as a large workshop for aircraft maintenance is added; and the preservation of aircraft, a very novel activity in Spain.

"Nowadays in aviation, more than 70% of large aircraft belong to large companies of leasing, they are the owners that send them to airlines during contracts, which can last five, ten or fifteen years. When they finish, they are returned and those planes have to be in a safe place for a while, receiving adequate maintenance so that they remain operational, and do not disturb. In a conventional airport having unused parked aircraft is annoying, and Teruel has specialized in this activity. "For this they have a large field, with an extension equivalent to more than 20 football fields, where right now they have 84 aircraft, type Jumbo and similar, with capacity for more than 550 passengers each. "When those planes arrive, they stay parked for a while, until the company manages to position them in another airline. The average time we have here can be a month, although we have a paradoxical case that was four years, "said the director.

Ibrahim has also managed to promote it as an airport research center, a work for which last November they obtained the national distinction Quality Innovation Award 2018; and are nominated for the world innovation prize, which will be held in February in Beijing (China).

This success in the field of innovation lies in having developed a unique, different business model; in addition to the technology they have been promoting, from GPS approach applications, automatic weather stations, or on-demand systems at the airport. "We distinguish ourselves by specialized works such as the dismantling of aircraft, we also have a rocket test bench, in fact we have at the airport the only company in Spain that is currently building a rocket, to launch the satellites, an initiative which already has more than 60 employees and there are several Spanish companies that are already investing in this business ".

However, in just six years, since the airport was inaugurated (2013), they have managed to consolidate a new generation of aeronautical activity, which continues to add and grow. At the moment, they are building the one that will be the largest maintenance area in Spain. "It will be a double angar, for two A380, the largest plane in the world, which only lands in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​when we have this it will also land in Teruel".

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