Murcia will have its high-speed AVE rail link to Madrid in 2018, and the region’s Corvera International Airport will be put into operation this coming year, Spanish president Mariano Rajoy announced today (Wednesday).
In a meeting with Murcia’s regional president Fernando López Miras and accompanied by minister of public works Íñigo de la Serna, Rajoy confirmed that this spring, the first phase of the AVE line between Murcia city and Monforte del Cid in the south-west of the province of Alicante would be completed.
The full journey to Madrid from Murcia via AVE will be two-and-a-half hours, Rajoy explains.
He says the works are ‘almost done’, having cost just over €1.42 billion.
The line would go underground as it crosses the city, in response to popular demand – although those who do not agree with the move staged a protest outside the building during the meeting between the three politicians.
According to Rajoy, the AVE will connect with Cartagena, and with Lorca in the south of the region, close to the border with Andalucía and the province of Almería.
As for the airport at Corvera, its management has just been assigned to air terminal governing body AENA, which predicts at least a million passengers travelling through it during its first year of operations and up to four million a year by the time AENA’s 25-year franchise runs out.
As well as giving Murcia a much-needed tourism boost and triggering growth in the industry in the region, the airport will mean an additional 20,000 new jobs created.
Rajoy says the ‘arduous task’ of moving operations from Murcia-San Javier airport, near Cartagena, to Corvera has now started, and that he wants to see the new terminal up and running before the end of 2018.