On 19 July 2013, the Flemish Government officially named Egis as the winner of two public service concession tenders for the operations of Antwerp and Ostend-Bruges airports, for a 25 year term.
Carlo Ciattoni, Project Director at Egis, applauded “the trust that the Flemish Government has placed in Egis, and the spirit of teamwork that reigned throughout the establishment of this public-private partnership. It augurs well for the early days of this long cooperation which is to last for 25 years.”
Egis and the Government now have a six-month transition period during which to make final arrangements for the transfer of both responsibilities and staff to the two Egis subsidiaries set up for the purpose: LEM Oostend-Brugge, and LEM-Antwerpen.
These LEMs will in particular be responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the platforms and for the upkeep of part of their facilities. The maintenance and development of so-called ‘basic’ infrastructure (runways, taxiways, airport access roads, etc.) will continue to be carried out by the Region via public airport development companies (LOMs) which are also currently being formed.
The concessionaire companies will naturally be responsible for commercial development in order to deliver the revenue needed to fund the €7 million investment programme planned by Egis for these two platforms.
Jean-Paul Desgranges, the Director at Egis in charge of steering these two LEMs during the pre-operational phase, commented: “Antwerp and Ostend-Bruges are two very complementary airports. Antwerp, despite its short runway, has a considerable role to play in the economic promotion of the Region by developing short-haul European business traffic. Ostend-Bruges, with its 3,200m runway that can accommodate all types of aircraft, can become the gateway to Flanders for tourist traffic. It can also be considered a serious alternative to other airports in Belgium and even in Northern France for both outbound tourist traffic and freight transport, whilst of course complying with current environmental legislation.”
Several airlines have already shown an interest in using one or the other of these airports, and a number of new routes are likely to be launched in the coming three years.
The two airports directly employ a total of 250 people, not counting the indirect jobs generated both on the platforms and in ancillary sectors such as the tourist industry.