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17 abril 2024

Teruel, a strategic global enclave for the aerospace industry with the forecast of 2,800 jobs

A conference brings together experts and top-level companies already operating from the Teruel airport. The infrastructure has nine companies installed and foresees more projects in the heat of the aerospace industry.

The President of Aragon, who has held a meeting with companies and institutes of the regional administration, has offered his institutional support to the office of Perte and the Government of Spain to defend a common project that has the endorsement of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, in addition to the firm commitment of the Government of Aragon and its work in attracting investment of this type through Aragon Exterior, the excellent conditions of Teruel for this type of activity in terms of climate and location, and the presence of top-level companies such as those participating in the conference on Wednesday.

Lambán has highlighted the potential of this infrastructure in which few believed at the beginning, recalling the successful decision of President Marcelino Iglesias and the counselor Javier Velasco, and which currently employs about 350 people: 80 linked to the operational and infrastructure work of the airport (firefighters, security, cleaning, works, administration …), 220 in Tarmac and the rest of companies that are also installed in Teruel: PLD Space (rocket engines); Airbus Operations (storage and non-destructive testing of aeronautical materials), Delsat (drones), Elson (research and drones), BP (aviation fuel systems management), ECO OIL (plastics recycling), IAC (aircraft painting) and soon Sceye (HAPS airships).

The Aragonese president recalled that the investment since its creation in 2007 until 2022 has been 82.8 million euros and assures that the future of the international airport of Teruel continues in full expansion process in the coming years with a forecast in the next four years to reach a thousand direct jobs in the companies installed and other 1. 800 of indirect jobs, being the biggest economic engine and employment generation capacity of Teruel in the coming years.In addition, he has placed value on the fact that this sector in projection is linked to the training that is strengthened with the vocational training cycle of the Higher Degree of Aeromechanical Maintenance in the IES Segundo de Chomón promoted by the Department of Education of the Government of Aragon in 2018.

In fact, he recalled that in 2016 a certificate of professionalism was made with Tarmac, with 15 places and 150 were presented. The training cycle is one of the most demanded in Aragon. President Lambán has advanced that work will be done with the University of Zaragoza to also incorporate a university degree in aeronautical engineering to the training. For this training purpose, 800,000 euros FITE are contemplated for the construction and management of a hangar, with an area of 800 square meters at the Airport, to provide these teachings.Likewise, Javier Lambán is confident that the expansion by 200 hectares added to the current 350, will allow the parking of up to 300 aircraft compared to the 85 large aircraft parked now, although with capacity up to 130.

Among the upcoming actions, it is planned the fencing and paving of the new 200 ha apron, expansion of the parking apron Phase III, new space areas, new paint hangar and another for airships, new parking areas for vehicles and expansion of the terminal, a Master Plan 2020-30 that will continue to provide the airport with capacity for growth and aeronautical industrial development.

At the closing of the conference, the Minister of the Presidency and Institutional Relations stressed that Teruel airport is proof that “talent has no limits or frontiers”. In addition, Mayte Pérez highlighted the importance of “public-private collaboration, a virtuous conjunction that has borne fruit here”.

“We must continue to look to the sky, but always with our feet on the ground, talking to companies and the territory and generating synergies,” she concluded.

Business projects

In January, IAC announced that it will open a second hangar with an investment of 20 million euros and the creation of 60 new jobs at Teruel Airport, which will be added to the 80-90 needed to operate the first hangar, reaching a total of between 140 and 150 employees. The company has been awarded a 25-year concession for the management of the aircraft painting hangar. On the other hand, Sceye, operator of HAPS (high altitude pseudo-satellites), announced last July the investment of 35 million euros and the creation of 135 direct jobs and 540 indirect jobs also at Teruel airport.

Among the factors that have led to its establishment there, as explained by the company itself, are the particularly favorable weather conditions for the take-off of airships, its location in the northern hemisphere below the 40th parallel, and the receptiveness and support of the project by the Government of Aragon. The announcement of the implementation in Teruel of this technology company came after two and a half years of work through AREX with the company, which in December 2019 held a first meeting with Councilor Gastón and the public company.

Also from the hand of Aragon Exterior have arrived in recent years two other of the leading companies installed at the airport: PLD Space, which develops rocket technology, works with space agencies around the world and has conducted more than 300 tests of rocket engines and is now considering the satellite micro-launcher project that would allow the creation of between 200 and 300 jobs; and Elson Space Engineering, a British company that develops technology, systems and equipment for the aeronautical and space sector.

The latter has successfully developed HAPS prototypes, setting up a center of excellence for high-altitude pseudo-satellites. The list of companies already established at Teruel Airport also includes Delsat, Airpull, Ecooil, Airbus and Tarmac Aerosave. The latter, dedicated to long-stay parking -with capacity for 400 aircraft-, aircraft maintenance and recycling, was the first company to set up at the Airport in 2012 and has become one of the main attractions of the infrastructure.

It has a team of 210 employees in Teruel and also promotes and participates in vocational training projects such as, for example, the higher level training cycle in aeromechanical maintenance at IES Segundo de Chomón.The drone operator Delsat, despite being a family business, is also actively involved in various training projects with actors such as INAEM or the UNED, as well as being involved in R&D projects for the development of practical applications for drones in sectors such as livestock, pharmacy or topography.

Experts and companies

After the inauguration by the President of Aragon, Javier Lambán, the event “Teruel: A strategic enclave for the aerospace industry in the world” had two round tables. The first one, focused on the aeronautical industry and the objective of turning Teruel Airport into the largest aeronautical maintenance center in Europe, was moderated by Inés Villa, manager of the aerospace cluster AERA, with the participation of Pedro Sáez, general director of Tarmac Aragón; Martin O’Connell, CEO of IAC; Alejandro Ibrahím, general director of Teruel Airport and president of the AERA cluster; and Patricia Utrillas, provincial director of INAEM.

The second of the round tables was oriented towards the aerospace sector in general and, under the title “Conquering the stratosphere”, Alfredo Serrano, general director in Spain of Sceye; Raúl Verdú, co-founder and director of Business Development of PLD Space; Andy Elson, managing director of Elson Space Engineering; and Ramón Tejedor, managing director of Aragón Exterior, participated in it.

The program of the day continued with the intervention of Héctor Guerrero, director of the Technical Space Office of the Commissioner for the Aerospace PERTE, who explained the technical aspects and implications of this PERTE as an opportunity for the sector in Teruel and Aragón. The Councilor of Presidency has been in charge of closing the day, which has concluded with a live demonstration of drones by the company Delsat.

Development of the Teruel Airport

The available surfaces could accommodate up to 130 aircrafts (including ground areas). It currently has about 85 large aircraft parked, reaching 127 in 2021 due to the pandemic. Among the largest aircraft that have arrived is the Airbus A380 on April 25, 2021. With the PIGA expansion of the airport by 200 hectares, in addition to the current 350 hectares, it will have 5,500,000 m2 and could accommodate more than 300 aircraft in the future, expanding the industrial and service areas.

The airport’s main advantages and strengths:

Airspace without congestion.
Dry climate without sand, beneficial for maintenance. More than 260 days of sunshine.
Equipment for operations management, landings…
Security and surveillance services.
Support for operations and support for handling (runway care).
Rescue and emergency services with firefighting equipment.
Meteorology service.
Use of space for offices, logistics warehouses, hangars, industrial area ….

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