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


 A conference brings together top-level experts and companies that already carry out their activity from the Turolense airport.

The infrastructure has nine companies installed and foresees more projects in the heat of the aerospace Perte

Updated 02/01/2023 14:14 Government Presidency

The present and future of Teruel and its airport as a focus for attracting investments linked to the aerospace sector has starred today in the conference organized by the Government of Aragon, through the public company Aragón Exterior, in the capital of Teruel. An event headed by President Javier Lambán and the Minister of the Presidency, Mayte Pérez, in which experts and leading companies in the sector such as Sceye, PLD Space, Elson Space Engineering or International Aerospace Coatings (IAC) have participated.

This day coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Teruel Airport, an infrastructure that has registered rapid growth in this decade of history to become, thanks to the success of Tarmac, a world reference in aircraft maintenance, repair and operations, consolidating itself as one of the main vectors of development and employment in the province.

The possibilities offered by the aerospace sector and the arrival, through Arex, of new projects promoted by companies such as IAC or Sceye, guarantee the continuity of this growth and the positioning of this infrastructure as a stratoport. The latest business initiative takes place in the heat of the PERTE aerospace and during the celebration of this day the project of micro-launchers for satellites promoted by the company PLD Space has been announced.

Lambán offers his mediation to obtain the endorsement of PERTE for the project of the airport companies

The President of Aragon, who has held a meeting with the companies and institutes of the autonomous Administration, has offered his institutional support to the office of the Perte and the Government of Spain to defend a common project that has the endorsement of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Contributing to this, in addition to the firm commitment of the Government of Aragon and its work in attracting investments of this type through Aragón Exterior, the excellent conditions of Teruel for this type of activity in terms of climate and situation, and the presence of top-level companies such as those participating in this Wednesday's conference.

Lambán has highlighted the potential of this infrastructure in which few believed at first, recalling the successful decision of President Marcelino Iglesias and the counselor Javier Velasco, and which currently employs some 350 people: 80 linked to operational and infrastructure work from the airport (firefighters, security, cleaning, works, administration...), 220 in Tarmac and the rest of the 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 paint) and in brief Sceye (HAPS airships).

The Aragonese president has recalled that the investment since its creation in 2007 until 2022 has been 82.8 million euros and ensures that the future of the Teruel international airport continues in the process of expansion in the coming years with a forecast in the coming four years of reaching a thousand direct jobs in established companies and another 1,800 indirect jobs, being the largest economic engine and employment generation capacity in Teruel in the coming years.

In addition, it has valued the fact that this sector in projection is linked to the training that is consolidated with the professional training cycle of the Higher Degree in Aeromechanical Maintenance at 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, for 15 places and 150 applied. The training cycle is one of the most demanded in Aragon. President Lambán has advanced that they will work with the University of Zaragoza to also incorporate a university degree in aeronautical engineering into training.

For this training purpose, 800,000 FITE euros are contemplated for the construction and management of a hangar, with an area of 800 square meters at the Airport, to teach these lessons.

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 for up to 130.

Among the upcoming actions, the fencing and paving of the new 200-hectare field, expansion of the Phase III parking platform, new spatial areas, a new paint hangar and another for airships, new areas are planned.of car parks and expansion of the terminal, a 2020-30 Master Plan that will continue to provide the airport with the capacity for growth and aeronautical industrial development.

For her part, at the closing of the day, the Minister of the Presidency and Institutional Relations stressed that the Teruel airport is proof that "talent has no limits or borders". In addition, Mayte Pérez has highlighted the importance of "public-private collaboration, a virtuous conjunction that has borne fruit here." "We must continue looking at the sky, but always with our feet on the ground, talking with 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 obtained the 25-year concession for the management of the aircraft painting hangar.

On the other hand, Sceye, operator of HAPS (high altitude pseudo-satellites, according to its acronym in English), announced last July the investment of 35 million euros and the creation of 135 direct jobs and 540 indirect jobs also at the airport. teruelense Among the factors that have led to its implementation there, as explained by the company itself, are the especially favorable weather conditions for the takeoff of airships, its location in the northern hemisphere below the 40th parallel, and the receptivity and support of the project by the Government of Aragon. The announcement of the establishment in Teruel of this technological company came after two and a half years of work through AREX with the company, which in December 2019 held a first meeting with the counselor Gastón and the public company.

Two other leading companies installed at the airport have also arrived in recent years thanks to Aragón Exterior: PLD Space, which develops rocket technology, works with space agencies around the world and has carried out more than 300 engine tests of a rocket and that now the project of micro-satellite launchers is being considered, which 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, establishing 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 a capacity for 400 aircraft-, aircraft maintenance and recycling, was the first company to set up shop 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, in addition, it promotes and participates in vocational training projects, such as the higher level training cycle in Aeromechanical Maintenance at the IES Segundo de Chomón.

The drone operator Delsat, despite being a family business, also actively participates in various training projects with actors such as INAEM or 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" has 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 AERA aerospace cluster, with the participation of Pedro Sáez, general director of Tarmac Aragón; Martin O'Connell, CEO of IAC; Alejandro Ibrahím, general director of the Teruel Airport and president of the AERA cluster; and Patricia Utrillas, provincial director of INAEM.

The second of the round tables has been oriented towards the aerospace sector in general and, under the title "To the conquest of the stratosphere", Alfredo Serrano, general director in Spain of Sceye; Raúl Verdú, co-founder and director of Business Development at PLD Space; Andy Elson, managing director of Elson Space Engineering; and Ramón Tejedor, managing director of Aragón Exterior.

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

Teruel Airport Development

The available surfaces could accommodate up to 130 aircraft (counting the land areas). It currently has some 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, which are added to the current 350 hectares, 5,500,000 m2 will be available and could accommodate more than 300 aircraft in the future, expanding the industrial and service areas.

The main advantages and successes of this Airport:

 Airspace without congestion.

 Dry climate without sand, beneficial for maintenance. More than 260 sunny days.

 Operations management teams, landings...

 Security and surveillance services.

 Support for operations and support for handling (attention on track)

 Rescue and emergency services with fire equipment.

 Weather Service.

 Use of spaces for offices, logistics warehouses, hangars, industrial area….
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