The number of operations at Teruel airport increased by 388% last October 2016 compared to the same month in 2015, mainly as a result of the start of activity of the British school of commercial pilots, Flying Time Aviation (FTA), in late September.
The flight practices carried out by the first students with the two light aircraft that FTA has at its Teruel base have triggered the number of landings and take-offs at the airport. The evolution will continue to rise, because next November 20 is expected to join the course between four and five more students who will be trained by three instructors, in addition to a new aircraft.
These data were provided by the director of the airport of Teruel, Alejandro Ibrahim, in a talk-colloquium organized by the “Circulo de Recreo Turolense” at its headquarters on 10th November2016.
Alejandro Ibrahim commented that those responsible for FTA have seen here an opportunity for growth with courses at a reduced price. At their Brighton headquarters, weather conditions make their students only able to practice flight for an average of two hours a day, a period that in Teruel is extended "to eight".
The flight school is the last activity that has been launched at the airport, where since its opening to air traffic, in 2013, a total of ten companies have been already implemented.
The first of these was Tarmac Aragón, which manages the largest parking and maintenance MRO center for aircraft in Europe, including in some cases recycling aircraft.
"What we are trying to do here is to complete the life cycle of an airplane. It is parked and maintained and, when they reach the end of their life cycle and can no longer be used to fly, it is recycled and the customer recovers part which they had invested in it, "he said.
The Tarmac Aragón facilities, the main business of the airport, received last February the record number of 84 large airplanes parking in the storage long-term platform, known as Campa.
He also piloted the activity of PLD Space, which has a test bench for the liquid fuel rocket engine that it develops and that aspires to become the first recoverable engine rocket of the continent, with the financial support of the European Space Agency.
These three companies are examples of the "many different activities" that is generating an airport platform that is already around 165 direct jobs after just over three years of operation, including execution of works like the current new hangar.
Among the keys to its development, its manager cited the success in choosing an industrial business model, flexibility and rapid adaptation to the needs of customers or control of operating expenses, which "are the lowest the airports of Spain for having introduced innovative management formulas", such as having on-demand fire service or automated systems and efficient management.
The objective is economic "self-sufficiency", something that is being achieved because this year 2016 the operating income 1.4 million euros (excluding VAT) and operating costs necessary for the operation of the airport will be around 850,000 euros .
In the construction of the airport, some 45 million euros were invested, a figure that Ibrahim considered "very tight", and especially when compared to the one carried out, for example, in Castellón, which was 450 million, ten times more. In addition, the investment will recover to a large extent through the fee that Tarmac pays and other settled companies.
Regarding the growth plans, he recalled that the construction of a second hangar, in which 704,000 euros have been invested, is being completed, and it is planned to expand the previous aircraft parking platform, with an initial project budget of 1,398. 381 euros. Later, it is hoped to have other facilities, such as hangars for logistics and painting of airplanes or an area for executive aviation, among others.
In the talk presentation, the president of the “Circulo de Recreo Turolense”, Mariano Giménez, pointed out that in cities such as Teruel "there are activities that are born with some misunderstanding and skepticism" of the population. "But in 2016 we can enjoy that reality that is the airport and, despite the doomsayers, I think it will last," he said.