The 127 million euro investment will focus on digitising air navigation and control systems and restructuring the airspace and new operational concepts for the purpose of building the Single European Sky.
By means of this investment, ENAIRE aims to overcome the crisis and prepare for the future resumption of flights in order to increase the efficiency, environmental sustainability and quality of the services, as well as help the aviation sector recover. It will also favour its internationalisation, by increasing its competitiveness in response to the sector's structural changes.
Out of this investment, 39.2 million euros will be allocated to digital air traffic control systems (ATM); 19.8 million to modernising and maintaining infrastructures; 15.7 million to optimising aeronautical communication systems; 15.3 million to technologically updating surveillance and navigation; and 14.9 million to digitising, developing and providing support to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Part of this investment, which represents a 27% increase on last year, can receive NextGeneration, CEF and Horizon 2020 funds.
ENAIRE's investment effort, included in the 2021 State Budget, will reinforce the air navigation service provider once the sector's current crisis is overcome. These investments are also necessary to build the Spanish Digital Sky, which is framed within the strategy of a Single European Digital Sky.
ENAIRE's Board of Directors reviewed the 2020 Management Report, including the balance and results of the 2020 Flight Plan (ENAIRE's Strategic Plan from 2017 to 2020), in which the entity presided by the State Secretary for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Pedro Saura, invested a total of 360 million euros.
ENAIRE's CEO, Angel Luis Arias, emphasised that "the 2020 Flight Plan has put the organisation in a good position to face the crisis and support the aviation sector's recovery, as well as tackle future challenges. The journey towards the organisation's transformation, initiated with the previous Strategic Plan, will continue with further determination, energy and ambition with the 2025 Flight Plan."
The Board members were also informed on the operations carried out by ENAIRE's professionals during the crisis triggered by the recent snowfall brought by Storm Filomena. This operation guaranteed at all times the security and activity of the flights managed by ENAIRE, not only at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas' Control Tower, but also at the Madrid-Torrejón Air Traffic Control Centre, which manages flights throughout the Central and North Peninsula region, including all overflight, domestic and international traffic.
Objectives for the coming years
The strategic objectives for the coming years, which will be included in the 2025 Flight Plan and are in the drafting and approval stage, are as follows:
- Continuously reinforcing security, paying particular attention to the security culture, the human factor and cybersecurity in response to the emerging new risks
- Improving the quality, scalability and resilience of the services provided through digitisation, modernising the airspace and operational concepts, and enhancing the culture of stakeholder and customer orientation
- Contributing to sustainable mobility in the sector, by minimising the impact of ENAIRE's activity on the environment and promoting its decarbonisation
- Undertaking the development of ENAIRE's business and internationalisation, to position ourselves as a global and liberalised environment of the future air navigation sector
- Improving ENAIRE's economic recovery and future viability, as well as increasing the company's efficiency, productivity and, thus, competitiveness in overcoming the crisis and adjusting to the sector's structural changes, while contributing to the aviation sector's overall recovery
- Accelerating ENAIRE's cultural, organisational and modernisation process, by making the most of the new technologies in order to become more flexible and efficient and by developing a culture centred on the people as the company's main asset
Reduction of charges in 2021
Another measure adopted by ENAIRE to boost recovery in 2021 is the new drastic reduction of its air navigation charges. The continental route charge will be reduced from 51.08 euros in 2020 to 45.44 euros in 2021, which is an 11% reduction. Similarly, the route charge in the Canary Islands, which was already reduced earlier and is lower than the continental charge, is also being lowered from 43.73 euros to 40 euros, an 8.5% drop.
With this measure, ENAIRE is helping significantly air traffic recover in the wake of the worst crisis in its history due to the effects of COVID-19, lowering costs for airlines and helping to lower ticket prices for the travelling public.
These reductions to its route charges are in addition to the reductions ENAIRE already made in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Since 2017, Spain has seen its continental route charges drop by 36.7% and by 31.6% in the Canary Islands.