Ferrovial/NATS eye Spanish air traffic control privatisations

The Spanish infrastructure group and the UK-based air traffic control firm have teamed up to bid for the upcoming privatisation of air traffic control services in 13 Spanish airports.

Ferrovial, the Spanish infrastructure group that owns BAA, and NATS, the UK-based air traffic control organisation, have formed a consortium to bid for the privatisation of air traffic control services across 13 Spanish airports.

The team is eyeing the privatisation of air traffic control at Alicante, Valencia, Ibiza, La Palma, Lanzarote, Sevilla, Jerez, Sabadell, Cuatro Vientos, Vigo, La Coruna and Melila airports. The privatisations were announced by the government last year and are set to take place during 2011.

“Our alliance with NATS combines our knowledge of the aviation industry and the specific features of the Spanish market with NATS’ track record in air traffic control and its unique experience in the privatisation of such a sensitive sector,” commented Santiago Olivares, the chief executive of Ferrovial Services.

NATS was part-privatised in 2001 with the UK government retaining a 49 percent stake in the firm. It presently manages some 2.2 million flights per year in the UK and eastern North Atlantic, helping to carry over 200 million passengers. The operator has about 2,000 controllers based at 15 airports and operation centres, it said in a statement.