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Air City Madrid Sur. How will it affect the existing social gap in the Community of Madrid?

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Nestor Delgado

According to recent socioeconomic studies by the prestigious Dutch university of Delft, in the last decade, Madrid has become the most segregated capital of Europe, and the second most socially unequal just after Tallin (Estonia). The crisis, together with the lack of social policies, has generated a great gap between the municipalities to the north of the Community and those to the south.

While middleclass residents move from neighbourhoods with higher unemployement rates and lower wages, those with fewer optiones move to neighbourhoods with more affordable prices in terms of rent and overall cost of living. Furthermore, gentrification is an increasingly notable factor in Madrid, which also directly affects the generation of the social gap, displacing the poorest in the most demanded neighbourhoods, such as Centro and Tetuán, due to the rapid growth in the price of housing, and attracting people with greater purchasing power.


Air City Madrid Sur recently announced its intention to invest in the improvement of Casarrubios Aerodrome, located on the border between the Community of Madrid and the province of Toledo, 36km from the centre of the capital. This is a 100% private investment, which aims to expand the airfield by building a new runway, a control tower and a new terminal to accommodate 7 million passengers annually.

It would be a secondary airport, where low-cost airlines (LCCs) would establish their base of operations.

LCCs currently play a significant role in the revitalization and modernization of regional airports, generating an increase in passengers that translates into an increase in prestige, reputation and internationalization in the área in which these secondary airports are located. LCCs attract tourists by lowering travel costs, who are then able to spend more at the destination itself. As we receive more tourists, the regional unemployment rate decreases, generating other social changes, services and complementary offers.
The function of airports goes beyond the generation of a transport system, offering a social and economic value to the territory, which gives the possibility to new socioeconomic activities, as well as the improvement of existing infrastructures.

In the case of Air City Madrid Sur, its estimated that in 10 years the airport will attract 7 million passengers with 55 thousand flights a year. It will involve 5600 direct Jobs and 13300 indirect Jobs for neighbouring municipalities.

In turn, the industrial development potential annexed to the Project with 2,5 million square meters could generate up to 32.500 direct Jobs and 12.000 additional jobs in the construction phase.

This action could promote an important axis of development in the relatively near future, as its start of operation is foreseen for the year 2023, if the necessary permits were granted to begin the execution of the works of adaptation (At the momento its in revision phase of the declaration of environmental impact).

This axis of development would lead to an improvement in communications infraestructures between the Autonomous Regions of Madrid and Castilla la Mancha, as it would generate significant growth in GDP, tourism and property development, in addition to the improvement of endowments and equipment in the southern área of Madrid, which is currently the most disadvantaged área of the Community. Mainly, the changes would affect the municipalities located in the vicinity of the A-5, such as Alcorcón, Móstoles, Arroyomolinos or Navalcarnero, as well as the district of Carabanchel, contributing to solving the social gap that exists in comparison with the northern municipalities.

The Airlines believe that the expansion of the airport will encourage airport competition and respond to the challenges of growth in the sector, as experts estimate that air traffic will double in the next 20 years and Barajas airport could not meet this demand. Moreover, it is the only European capital with a single airport, despite being the 6th most populous city on the continent with 3,2 million inhabitants.
To cite a few examples at European level, the German capital has almost 3,5 million inhabitants and the airports of Tegel and Schönefeld, while Paris, with 2,2 million, has the airports of Beauvais, Orly and Charles de Gaulle.


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