- Lysa Scully, Independent Senior Advisor for Ferrovial Airports in US, moderated the panel P3s – Is now the right time?
- Luis Alvargonzález, Corporate Development Director at Ferrovial Airports, participated in a discussion on eVTOL aviation.
Ferrovial Airports participated in the Global Airport Development (GAD) Digital Hub 2021, a two-day seminar program that focuses on strategic and commercial challenges for airport stakeholders. The event, which took place on the 18th and 19th May, included two key sessions which counted on the participation of two senior members of the Airports team. First, Lysa Scully, Independent Senior Advisor for Ferrovial Airports in US, moderated the panel P3s – Is now the right time?. On the following day, Luis Alvargonzález, Corporate Development Director at Ferrovial Airports, participated in a discussion on eVTOL aviation.
Lysa Scully shared the session with three panelists: Shawn Kinder, Senior Advisor at PJ Solomon; Glenn Muscosky, Managing Director at Moelis & Company, and Tomer Pinkusiewicz, Partner at Gibson Dunn. During this panel, the speakers discussed the future of P3s in the US and the steps that must be taken to make them a reality. In addition, the speakers covered topics like the impact of the pandemic on US airports’ finances, the role of the P3 in city/state finances in the current economic climate or the new frameworks that should be considered. Also, the speakers debated about a win-win structure for passengers, public and private partners.
After the introduction of the panelists, Scully remarked the good news that traffic is returning with pent up demand driving passenger levels up sooner than anticipated. However, it is estimated that North American airports will require a $115 billon in capital investment in the next five years, not including what has been deferred beyond 2025.
Scully also explained that airports and airlines have reduced their reserves and taken on debt to ensure continuity during the 12 months of suppressed pandemic demand. Current proposals for federal funding include support for airport infrastructure, albeit final amounts unknown and not anticipated to be sufficient to tackle the backlog needed to meet industry standards; and the administration’s plan for private sector involvement in the various proposals is unclear.
The panelists discussed different models for private sector partnership in the aviation market, ranging from full airport privatization under the AIPP Program to terminal and other project developments, either on behalf of the airport sponsor or an air carrier.
Glenn explained that the AIPP Program is a mechanism to engage the private sector in addressing an airport’s development needs, while also turning the airport into a revenue generation center for the sponsors. This could be achieved either through upfront payments, and/or ongoing proceeds to support the municipalities’ financial requirements. This sparked a discussion about the financial status of municipalities and whether the current situation is conducive for them to consider the AIPP option now.
Tomer talked about the start-up of new low-cost carriers in the marketplace on medium and small hub airports, where there typically is not a dominant carrier and costs per enplaned passenger (CPE) are lower. He also raised the question of which would be the biggest success factors for these new entrants at these hubs and how the private sector can create opportunity for their involvement in the development of these small to medium hubs to support the new operations.
Finally, Shawn discussed how major carriers, either individually or through consortia, have traditionally been one of the most active sponsors of the funding and development of terminals for their own use. During his speaking time, he also mentioned the lessons learned from past privatization opportunities that can help pave the way to a potentially successful outcome on future procurement processes.
On the following day’s agenda, we would highlight the session on eVTOL aviation, where Luis Alvargonzález talked about how vertiport facilities will be key in developing eVTOL aviation, as they provide the infrastructure for landing, recharging, and taking off of these vehicles.
“At Ferrovial we are very pleased to be collaborating with Lilium in the development of a new sustainable air mobility ecosystem. We are working very closely, and I am sure this will be a successful partnership that will enable the development of eVTOL aviation”, he explained.
“Ferrovial has a broad experience and unrivalled expertise in airport development, construction and operation and we aim to be a key player in the design and build of these facilities”, he added.