See a brief history of the company from its foundation in 1991 until today.

History of Aena

Aena’s creation was related to the process of deregulating and granting access to the air transport market which took place in the late eighties in the field of international European air transport. The aim was to provide Spanish airports with an organisational model that would enable faster and more flexible operations than those provided by the civil service framework, which held airport management back then.

Aena came into being through article 82 of Law 4 on General State Budgets in 1990, becoming effectively established on 19 June 1991.

Since its beginnings Aena has had its own legal status and full public and private management capacity. This symbiosis means that Aena is governed by public law in its public functions, and by private law in all matters relating to its assets and hiring decisions.

The operational guidelines for this new entity were set by the Spanish Government through the former Ministry of Transport, Tourism and Communications, entrusting it with management authority over Spanish airports, facilities and navigational aid and air traffic control networks.

Aena started providing its services on 2 November 1991, performing functions related to the management of Spanish airports, and on 2 November 1992 Aena began its air navigation activities. Aena has since carried out a full and comprehensive modernisation of Spanish airport and air navigation facilities, thereby positioning our airports at the forefront of our neighbouring countries and leading the management systems in the area of international air traffic control.

Aena was responsible for the Spanish airport network changing the ground handling services framework by incorporating various service operators at the airports with the highest air traffic density. This has led to an improvement in the quality of airlines and an overall cost reduction.

New infrastructures

The adaptation of airport installations to the Schengen Agreement meant a total refurbishment of the existing infrastructures. These were supplemented with major infrastructure works aimed at preparing for events happening in 1992 - the Barcelona Olympic Games and the Seville Universal Exposition - as well as the construction of new terminals in the Málaga and Jerez airports.

Throughout the nineties, Aena experienced a profound change in its management structures. It adapted to a new business model while also launching new operational management systems based on the implementation of new technologies for the operation of airport resources, public information systems, aeronautical and commercial revenue management systems, etc.

It is also worth mentioning the construction and opening of new shopping centres that reflected the new approach to airport management culture, in line with new European trends.

After improvements in 1992, Aena undertook a major refurbishment of the Palma de Majorca and Madrid-Barajas airports. These were followed by works at almost all the airports in the network, which had grown with the inauguration of two new airports in La Gomera and León.

The beginning of the new century marked Aena's management taking charge of three new airports in Colombia and twelve in Mexico, which became a great platform for Aena International.

The completion in recent years of the Plan Barajas, Plan Barcelona and Plan Málaga projects has led to the improvement and expansion of the three major airports in the peninsular area. This work has been complemented by the opening to air traffic of the new Logroño, Albacete, Burgos, Huesca-Pirineos airports, and the Ceuta and Algeciras heliports. These now constitute the most important airport network at the international level.

Aena and Enaire

By an agreement of the Council of Ministers on 25 February 2011, the Aena Aeropuertos state-owned corporation was created in order to implement Royal Decree-Law 13, of 3 December 2010, on fiscal, labour and deregulation measures to encourage investment and job creation, which included in its legislative text the modernisation of the airport system by implementing a new management model.

Ministerial Order of 7 June 2011 approved the setting up of Aena Aeropuertos S.A. The latter was commissioned to perform functions and duties previously exercised by the public business entity Aena for the management and operation of airport services.

Following its internationalisation policy, in 2013 Aena acquired 66% of the share capital in Aerocali, Colombia's third most important airport with over 4 million passengers, where Aena previously had held 33% of share capital. It also acquired the concessionaire of London Luton Airport (fifth British airport with 9.6 million passengers) with a 51% stake by Aena and 49% by AXA Private Equity investment company.

Through Royal Decree Law 8, of 4 July 2014, the company’s name changed from Aena Aeropuertos, S.A. to Aena, S.A. (In April 2017, according to the provisions of Law 40/2015 on the legal framework of the public sector, which establishes that state-owned corporations must bear the abbreviation S.M.E., the company’s name was adapted to Aena SME, S.A.)

At the same time, and through the same piece of legislation, public business entity Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea, Aena, has become Enaire.

Enaire retains the same legal nature and status of public business entity Aena, exclusively executing responsibilities related to airport and air navigation activities, in addition to performing the national and international operational coordination of the Spanish air traffic control network.