Beja Airport celebrates five years of activity
Beja Airport celebrates its 5th year of operation.
An important asset in the region's transport network, it combines all the conditions needed to become a fundamental infrastructure for the development of the Alentejo. ANA is aware that achieving this goal depends on contextual variables associated with the development of the region itself, particularly in terms of the economy, whose progress it is unable to control or forecast. Up until now, although there are products that generate demand, the Alentejo region still does not have a large enough market to make viable touristic and cargo flows for which air transport would be a determining factor.
Throughout these five years in operation, exploratory initiatives have been undertaken which resulted from cooperation between ANA, the Tourism bodies and Operators. However, despite these efforts, the low demand from commercial aviation has led to a rethinking of the Airport's operations and to it being re-assigned for other types of operation.
Therefore, ANA has committed to establishing activities of an industrial nature in this infrastructure, which are able to attract investment and create jobs, specifically in the maintenance and disassembly of aircraft, and in the medium-long term parking of aircraft.
As a result of this strategy, on 31 July 2015, ANA and AERONEO formally took out an Occupancy and Operating Licence with the aim of building and operating an industrial unit on the perimeter of Beja Airport intended for the maintenance, disassembly, and certification of recoverable components from aircraft. The programmed and publicly announced investment in this new industrial unit amounts to 8 million euros, may lead to the creation of up to around 100 jobs, and is scheduled to enter into full operation within three years. This structuring project, for which building work are expected to begin shortly, will have a significant impact on the Alentejo region.
ANA has also been making great efforts to establish Beja in the aircraft parking sector, and these efforts began to show results at the beginning of 2016 with the presence of the airlines Hi Fly, euroAtlantic airways and SATA.
Currently, Beja Airport has become the operational base for Hi Fly's fleet of wide body aircraft and, since January, has ensured the parking of three to five aircraft that use the facility every day as a rotating platform between operations, including support activities, in particular maintenance. As a result of all this, the company has already begun to recruit in the region.
More recently, on 28 March, euroAtlantic airways began operations with the parking of two B767-300 aircraft, and this company consider to base part of its fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft in this facility.
SATA Azores Airlines used the facility to park an aircraft for a period of approximately two weeks.
In addition, and as a result of the extensive commercial efforts that ANA has been making in the medium-long term aircraft parking segment for the Alentejo airport infrastructure, discussions are ongoing with other airlines which may produce positive results in the near future.
Along similar lines, ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, SA and Galp Energia reached an Agreement this year which allows the price of aviation fuel to be lowered at Beja Airport, making the facility even more competitive. With this Agreement, the price of Jet A1 fuel at Beja Airport becomes identical to the price charged at Lisbon Airport. Also in this area, and as a means of optimising infrastructure management, during 2016, ANA will invest in the construction of new facilities for the parking of Jet A1 refuelling vehicles, with the aim of significantly improving the existing conditions.
Beja Airport (TCB) is a strategic investment, not just for the Alentejo region, but also for the Country and for ANA. These initiatives demonstrate the Company's commitment to its revitalisation, to improving the effectiveness of the strategy being followed by its managing entity, and to guaranteeing not just its future sustainability, but also the indirect creation of sustainable employment -
See more at: http://www.ana.pt/en-US/Topo/institucional/aboutANA/News/News/Pages/Beja-Airport-anniversary.aspx?fromlist=1#sthash.xSPvIgMf.dpuf