San Javier belongs to the national airport operator, Aena, while Corvera is a project of the Murcia region itself. The contract for the new airport has been awarded to the Aeromur consortium, which is lead by the Sacyr group. The airport will be built and operated over a 40-year concession period. The new airport is expected to receive its first flights in 2009. Low cost airlines were quick to react to the announcement, with reports that within hours of the award, Jet2 and Easyjet had been in contact with the winning consortium that has been talking with some 15 budget airlines over the past few months.
The big attraction of the new airport at Corvera is that it will operate 24-hours a day - unlike San Javier which is restricted mainly to afternoon and evening operations as the facility is shared with the Spanish air force.
Corvera will feature one runway with a modern passenger terminal, parking and all other facilities. The terminal will have an area of 28,000 square metres with nine air bridges allowing direct access to aircraft. The construction cost is estimated at 185 million euros.
The forecast usage for the opening year is five million passengers, with this rising to nine million in 2015 and more than 14 million in 2030.
Corvera is located near Fuente Alamo, and is well placed to serve the whole of Murcia. It is also close to motorways connecting to Alicante, so Aena could face competition for its airport there as well as at San Javier from an aggressive new private operator.