Calculation Error Obliges Demolition of Part of Castellón Airport

Castellón Airport SculptureThe entrance to Castellón Airport is crowned by a massive sculpture inspired by the airport’s biggest promoter, Carlos Fabra. Photo by Àngel Sánchez.

Calculation Error Obliges Demolition of Part of Castellón Airport
The government had knowlingly hidden the defect since April 2011
The Valencian government is trying to pin the cost of repairs on the constructor, which had claimed €80 million from the government for breaking contract

El País: Un error de cálculo obliga a demoler parte del aeropuerto de Castellón
María Fabra reporting from Castellón February 14, 2012

In case anyone thought the absurdity of the Castellón Airport ended with its flightless inauguration or the erection of a massive sculpture in honor of the driving force behind the airport’s construction, Carlos Fabra, he was wrong. In addition to all that, its infrastructure was poorly constructed. The part of the runway where airplanes were to turn has to be demolished to meet State Airline Security Agency safety requirements for the handling of airplanes that are landing. The runway was too small for planes to use it, hence it must be expanded.

The deficiencies came to light when the Generalitat [Valencian Government] rescinded its 50-year contract with the concessionaire, which has demanded €80 million in reimbursement from the state. But the government has actually known about the problem since April 2011 and kept it secret since then. The new project, obviously, will come with a cost, and the Valencian government will try to pin it on the concessionaire in their ongoing contractual negotiations. It’s safe to say the repair costs would be subtracted from the compensation the government has to pay for unilaterally breaking contract.

Meanwhile, Carlos Fabra, still president of the airport’s public sector promoter, Aerocas, held a council meeting for the company administration yesterday, but it was not held in the company’s commercial headquarters or any other space owned by the regional government (Aerocas’s biggest shareholder); instead Fabra brought the councilors to the Castellón Chamber of Commerce, for which he became secretary once again after he stepped down from the presidency of the provincial council. Generalitat sources indicated that the meeting was convened in the chamber headquarters because “the president called it, and he decided to hold it there.”

In any case, the adjudication of contracts continued at this meeting, though euro figures were not revealed. One contract given was for air traffic control, and it fell to Saerco, the only company that bid after the company that was initially awarded the contract renounced it. In addition, a private security contract was approved for the airport facilities which, despite being closed, are still being vigilantly maintained. Animal control was put out to tender for a total cost of more than €450,000, €112,000 of which will finance the flights of eight trained falcons and walks of eight ferrets to scare away or hunt other birds. These beasts were chosen because they will not collide with the planes, although there is still no date set for when human flights of any kind will begin at the Castellón Airport.

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