Murcia’s new airport will be ready for commercial flights to operate from this December, although its actual launch date will depend upon when the various airlines running from it are ready to start.
Chairman of airports governing body AENA, Jaime García-Legaz, says the process of checking and signing off the various parts of the future Juan de la Cierva terminal for health, safety and completion will take several months, having started a week ago tomorrow (Saturday).
The next step will be drumming up interest from airlines.
This new terminal, in the village of Corvera near Murcia city, will replace the existing terminal in San Javier, closest to the Mar Menor coastal area and the town of Cartagena.
Corvera airport will not start to operate until the last plane has flown out of San Javier, García-Legaz confirms.
He sought to reassure staff at San Javier that their jobs were safe, as they would continue in their roles but in the new terminal in Corvera.
In fact, says García-Legaz, the new airport is much larger and will create even more jobs than San Javier, especially as it will be open and running ‘morning, afternoon and evening, 365 days a year’, and will not have to share its space with military aircraft, as is currently the case with San Javier.
Regional government president Fernando López Miras says the Corvera terminal will create 500 directly-linked new jobs and another 4,000 indirect positions for every million passengers who flew into or out of Murcia.
Initial forecasts suggest Corvera airport will transport around four million passengers annually, helping to give the region’s economy and tourism industry a huge boost.
The new terminal will be named Juan de la Cierva airport after the Murcia-born engineer who invented the gyroplane, or autogyro, which first took off 95 years ago last month, in February 1923.
García-Legaz believes Murcia’s new airport will rival that of Alicante, just 80 kilometres north in the next region – a major international terminal which serves the Costa Blanca holiday belt and the whole of the province of Alicante and part of that of Valencia.
“Ours is going to be in the same league,” he assures.