The new Colonel of the San Javier Air Academy, Emilio Juan Gracia, paid a courtesy visit this morning to the Mayoress of Cartagena, Pilar Barreiro, following his recent appointment as Director of the Royal Spanish Air force flying school.
During the course of his visit, the topic of the new international airport at Corvera was raised, and the new director assured the Mayoress that there is room for all of the airports within the region of Murcia, but above all his mission is that of coordinating operations with those of Corvera.
He informed the Mayoress that this coming Friday, a meeting is being held with the various bodies responsible for the different aerodromes of the region to evaluate the proposals of each one.
The new Colonel has direct responsibility for the activities of the Royal Air Force flying school , which currently shares its facilities with the civilian airport of San Javier. Although a second runway was inaugurated last year to enable the state run airport concessionary, Aena, to amplify its offering of civilian flights into San Javier, the intention was announced at the end of last year to close the San Javier airport for civilian use and return it to the military, transferring all passenger flights to the new airport at Corvera.
Currently, military air traffic controllers take responsibility for all flights coming in and out of San Javier, including civilian flights. Of course, there is always the possibility that the military could continue to control flights through Corvera, ensuring that use of military airspace remains under military control.
Another topic discussed by the two parties was that of economic cuts being made to the Armed Forces. The new director assured the Mayoress that the flying school would continue to function at the same level as it has done this year, although he was aware that other sectors of the Armed Forces were facing cuts in the coming year.
Cartagena has strong links with the military, being an important naval base, and the location of the Navantia shipbuilding yards, which are currently constructing and repairing a number of military vessels.
The Mayoress has been most preoccupied by the prospect of spending cuts within the Armed Forces, as this has a direct effect on the workforce of the shipyard in Cartagena, as well as the large number of civilians who work within the naval base, and also presents the very real possibility that numbers of naval personnel based in Cartagena could be reduced in the future, impacting on the retail activities of all the businesses working within Cartagena, who could suffer a resulting drop in revenue.
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