PLD Space signs a 25-year concession for rocket engine testing at Teruel Airport
(6 August 2018 - PLD Space) PLD Space and the Teruel Airport Consortium have signed the formalization of the concession of a 13,337 m2 space in the Teruel Airport (PLATA) for the company that develops launcher technology. The agreement will be in force for a period of 25 years, with the option of an additional 10-year extension.
The Governing Council of the Teruel Airport Consortium approved in its session of December the 20th 2017 the bidding of the concession for aerospace applications in an area at the far end of the site. Subsequently, the administrative process was initiated and on 16th of July 2018 the company PLD Space was awarded the contract to use the licenced areas and carry out the tests of its rocket motors.
The Councillor for Land Structure, Mobility and Housing and President of the Airport Consortium, José Luis Soro, said that “from the airport platform a R&D (research and development) node has been created, with PLD Space being one of the best examples confirming the potential of PLATA”.
For its part, PLD Space will invest more than one million euros in infrastructure for the construction of a new control room, offices, access paths, a rocket engine maintenance hangar and a new test bench to test the complete ARION 1 rocket.
PLD Space began its activity on October the 6th 2014 at the Teruel Airport facilities, through a public property authorization of use initially for 3,570 square meters of surface area where the first test bench for liquid fuel rocket engines in Spain was installed. For the last 4 years, PLD Space has been testing rocket motor technology at the airport, which has allowed the company to demonstrate this technology, generate confidence in private investors throughout Spain and grow in the number of employees.
Following the signing of the concession contract, a follow-up meeting was held between Raúl Torres, CEO of PLD Space and the General Manager of Teruel Airport, Alejandro Ibrahim. In addition, the construction site of the new rocket engine test centre has been visited.
Raúl Torres, CEO of PLD Space, said that “the infrastructure is being consolidated at Teruel Airport, which is fundamental for the growth and competitiveness of our company. Undoubtedly, this new infrastructure will bring us closer to achieving our milestone of launching our rocket into space next year.
On the other hand, the General Director of the Airport, Alejandro Ibrahim, spoke about the facilities offered by the Airport of Teruel: “We are offering our best resources and capabilities to promote and boost the aerospace industry and turn PLD Space into a world leading company in Aeronautics, with rocket motors being a key factor in space transport”.
In this way, the Teruel Airport is once again promoting progress in the aerospace sector through the signing of the new concession, which provides a fourfold increase on the previous space set aside for rocket engine testing. This company becomes the second largest licenced with the largest volume permanently located in the airport facilities.
TERUEL AIRPORT is the largest international innovative centre in the aeronautics/aerospace industry with parking, maintenance and recycling of large aircraft in Europe; it also has a flight school, flight tests and trials, general aviation, executive aviation, engine testing, aerial work, medical helicopter service, drones, prototypes, R&D projects and aeronautical training.
It began operations in March 2013 and on its 5th Anniversary it has reached a total of more than 6,000 air operations per year. In the month of June 2018 there was an increase of 761.8% in operations compared to the same month of the previous year. This strong growth is due to its innovative business model focused on industrial airports, developing a platform with air transport companies and helping them to establish and grow.
Despite becoming a profitable industrial airport in five years without serving passenger traffic, surpassing more than 20 national airports in 2018 in terms of operating revenues, it will also start with commercial flights of up to 19 passengers to serve its own customers who demand executive transport services and connections with aeronautical centres in Europe.
The commitment to innovation and its successful business model with the latest technologies; flexible timetables, automatic aeronautical weather information, LED beacon lighting, photovoltaic energy, feasibility for instrumental approaches with satellites, on-demand services, among others, make PLATA an example for the fastest growing airport platform.