Tenerife Sur airport will open today a hall with five new boarding gates for the departure of passengers. It is, as DIARIO DE AVISOS announced on October 12, five of the six accesses planned in the so-called zone C (known until now as T-2), an area that will also include 32 check-in counters, which will be added to the current 87 and which will come into operation before the first quarter of next year. With this measure, which also includes a centralized control of exit passports, the passenger will gain comfort and greater efficiency during the boarding process.
They will be the first operational units of the expansion works in progress, included in the Airport Regulation Document (DORA) 2017-2021, which contemplates an investment program for Tenerife South of 152 million euros and that, according to AENA’s forecast, will increase the airport’s capacity from the current 13 million passengers (in 2019, before the pandemic, the facilities received 11.2 million) to 16 million annual travelers.
In addition to the five boarding gates that open today and the 32 check-in counters, the rest of the work aimed at expanding the airport’s surface area by more than 50% – up to 151,394 square meters – faces the final stretch. Specifically, the building that will integrate the current terminal, built in 1978, and the aforementioned area C or T-2, which will facilitate the departure process, will centralize security controls, will add four more boarding gates, as well as two walkways, and they will improve the commercial offer, as explained to this newspaper by Mario Otero, director of AENA in the Canary Islands, and Luis López Chapí, director of the South airport.
The terminal expansion works, which will be completed before March 2022, coincide with the open debate on the future of the airport, after authorities and economic agents claim a terminal adjusted to the needs of a first-rate tourist destination. Public administrations and businessmen have criticized that DORA 2022-2026, recently approved by the Council of Ministers, included lower items than those demanded from the Island.
The Secretary of State for Transport, Isabel Pardo, acknowledged that she detected a “loss of confidence” in a meeting held on Monday with the Government of the Canary Islands, the Cabildo and economic agents, and announced that there will be no budget limitation in AENA to undertake the comprehensive reform expected from 2026, without specifying if the works would begin before that year.