January 25, 2021

Up to seven companies are interested in bidding for control towers in Spain

The tender by Aena of the renewal of the management contract of the twelve liberalized control towers, for an amount of 141.6 million euros, has aroused the interest of up to seven companies, most of them European public monopolies of control air, according to industry sources.

The aerodrome air traffic service (ATS) or tower control has been liberalized since 2011 at the airports of La Coruña, Alicante-Elche, Cuatro Vientos (Madrid), Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Jerez, La Palma, Lanzarote, Sabadell, Seville, Valencia and Vigo, where the current contracts end between November 2020 and January 2022.

Interested companies have until next Wednesday, after an extension of ten days, to present their offers to this contest, which is tendered in three lots, of which the same tenderer can be awarded a maximum of two, according with Aena’s specifications.

The first lot includes the Valencian, Catalan and Balearic airports; the second, the Galician, Andalusian and Madrid, and the third, the Canaries.

The management of these towers is in the hands of FerroNATS (Ferrovial Services and the British NATS) and Saerco, which won the first tender carried out nine years ago, after the approval of the ministerial order that designated the airports where it was liberalized service.

Both companies provide air control services in more Spanish airports, both ATS and AFIS (flight information), SDP (platform address) or CNS maintenance (communication, navigation and surveillance).

Likewise, Saerco has recently won the contest for two Norwegian airports, where it will start operating next March.

Aena’s new tender not only has more competition than 2011, but also a different, more public and international bidder profile, such as the German company DFS Aviation Services, which operates under a monopoly regime in its country and invoices some 800 million euros a year, they have told Efe sources in the sector.

Other competitors are Avinor, the public provider that operates in monopoly in Norway, and its Finnish counterpart ANS, who bid in partnership with the Spanish engineering company Gesnaer and Seairtech, respectively, with at least 80% of the companies formed.

They are joined by the Italian public company Enav, which operates under a monopoly regime in their country and apparently has the advice of Alberto Ruiz Gallardón’s office in Spain, according to the same source.

For Enav, Aena’s contest represents the opportunity to expand its business outside Italy and continue with a strategy initiated in recent times to enter markets in which it was not present so far, company sources have explained to Efe.

Another foreign candidate, although in this private case, could be the Swedish ACR, which operates in its country in 16 small airports and would bid through a partnership formed with FTE Jerez, a Spanish pilot and driver training company, in which it would have at least 80%, according to the source.


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