The Niagara Falls concession implies Ferrovials recognition as independent airport operator for future privatization processes in the country
Through its subsidiary Cintra, which conducts bidding and management activities of transport infrastructure concessions in Spain and abroad, the Niagara Airport concession in the State of New York (USA) has been awarded to Ferrovial. According to Juan Béjar, Managing Director of Cintra, "The concession will last 99 years and implies Cintras recognition as airport operator by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), one of the main requirements for participating in future privatization processes in this country. This concession has an evident strategic value as a key for entering into the US market, which accounts for 45% of global air traffic, and airport privatization processes, and where investments may surge in the next years
". Niagara Falls is the second US airport to be managed by a private company the first one was Stewart Airport as part of a pilot privatization program which foresees private participation in five airports as a first step towards a broader program.
Focus on commercial traffic
The airport, located in the vicinity of the city of Niagara, currently has three operative runways, a terminal building and several general aviation facilities. Niagara Falls is mainly devoted to private flights and corporate or executive aviation and, for the moment, has less commercial airline traffic. Despite this, the airport is highly active with an average of more than 120 daily operations.
Cintra is focused on the development of commercial traffic and will take advantage of the potential provided by the region: the airport has an area of influence of 1.2 mn passengers and a great tourist appeal, not only due to the Falls but also due to the proximity of skiing facilities, a new Casino and a leisure center under construction on the Canadian side. Cintra will mainly promote charter flights to/from Niagara, both for tourists and for residents in the area travelling southward for their winter vacations. Annual traffic growth is estimated at around 5% for the period 2005-2025.
Investment of Pta 8.7 billion
Cintra will undertake major airport improvements to enable a great quality integrated service offering to its users, as well as an aggressive marketing policy aimed at securing airline clients. A total investment of more than Pta 8.7 billion (more than $52.7 million) is expected for the next years. Among the main projects to be undertaken are the passenger terminal reform and the construction of new cargo and general aviation facilities, including a new terminal, a new hangar and platform improvements.
Cintra, which went alone in this bid, had to compete against a local consortium formed by industrial companies with airport and real estate experience in the US. Following technical and economical assessments, Cintra was selected as "Preferred Bidder" and will now start negotiating to define the airport concession contract.
Expansion in North America
With this last award, Cintra gains strength in the airport business, with the management of 11 airports in the United States, Mexico (9) and Chile, and enters into the US market through Niagara, the second US airport to be privatized. "Our recognition as independent operators sums up Béjar may guarantee our active participation in the privatization program expected in the US; the privatization of the Airports of Newark, Kennedy and La Guardia is expected in the State of New York, as well as the entrance of private enterprises in ports, land infrastructures and management of other county or city airports in the US
". Cintra is present in the same area of influence in Canada through the concession of Highway H407 in Toronto, a project involving an investment in excess of Pta 400 billion.
With a committed investment of Pta 200 billion through Cintra, Ferrovial is worldwide leader in transport infrastructure concessions (toll roads, airports and car parks) in Spain and abroad in terms of investment volume. Cintra operates 15 toll roads in Canada, Spain (7), Chile (4) and Colombia (3); 11 airports and more than 115,000 car park places in Spain, Portugal and Puerto Rico.