Home Headlines AMLO’s government changes conditions for airport group concessions

AMLO’s government changes conditions for airport group concessions

by Yucatan Times
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From one day to the next, the Government changed the concession conditions for private airport groups in the country.

On Wednesday, the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) informed the airport groups that it would review the concession titles to assess the airport service fees, specifically the Airport Use Fee (TUA).

As a consequence of the change, the airport groups informed the Mexican Stock Exchange in “relevant events” and yesterday the shares of the three private groups fell, making it necessary to suspend operations.

At the close, the shares of Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (OMA), which manages the Monterrey Airport, fell 26.32 percent; those of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), which operates the Los Cabos Airport, fell 22.15 percent and those of Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (Asur), which has the Cancun Airport, lost 16.45 percent.

The sector’s collapse dragged down the Stock Exchange, whose main index, the S&P/BMV IPC, concluded with a 2.59 percent drop.

According to sources involved in the matter, the change is the first to be made in 25 years of airport concessions to private groups. The concession titles establish revisions to regulated services such as TUA, runways, towing, and baggage, among others, every 5 years. However, they establish that the authority -in this case, the Ministry of Infrastructure- will be responsible for the review of the services to be provided by the airport.

The intention, according to sources, is to reduce airline ticket fares and for this purpose, the TUA will have to be reduced. Such revision will be made for all concessioned airports -except AIFA and AICM- and in all of them it will have to be reduced by an amount that will be different for each case.

In the next few days, the aeronautical regulator and the airport groups OMA, Asur, and GAP will hold meetings to agree on the terms of the adjustment.

Subsequently, the rates for the rest of the airport services will be reviewed.

The AICM’s TUA will remain unchanged because such revenues are tied to the payment of the bonds for the NAIM, whose construction was canceled during this administration, but whose debt continues to be paid. It will be the Ministry of Finance that will determine the scheme under which such bonds, issued during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, will continue to be paid.

Víctor Pérez, president of the Communications and Transportation Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, assured that the measure sends a bad signal for investment and represents a blow to the national economy.

“Whether or not it responds to market interests, the Government seeks to align everything to Mexicana de Aviación, which does not yet exist, and to AIFA. The Government is playing dirty as a market player and at the same time as a regulator,” he said.

In recent weeks, the Government announced the reactivation of Mexicana de Aviación, now a state-owned airline, and transferred the operation of the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) to the Navy (SEMAR).

TYT Newsroom

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