The main investments will be in safety and security initiatives such as runway works and taxiway redesigns

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Aena have signed a €140m loan to finance improvements to safety and operational resilience at Spanish airports. The funds will also go to innovation and IT projects across Aena’s airport network in Spain and its headquarters in Madrid.

The main investments to be financed by the EIB are safety and security initiatives, including runway works and taxiway redesigns in line with the latest updates from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and upgrades to aircraft parking stand lighting systems.

The financing will also be used for investments related to the rehabilitation of airside pavements, emergency control system upgrades, the replacement of passenger boarding bridges, and the supply and installation of safety filter equipment.

IT-based Aena projects eligible for these funds include process automation, cybersecurity, database management, building information modelling, software acquisition and licensing. Also eligible are innovation-related projects, among them biometric equipment, development of a data-driven platform and processes related to the digital customer experience and passenger terminal efficiency.

The operation is in line with the EIB Transport Lending Policy, which prioritises investments to improve the sustainability and resilience of existing transport infrastructure, along with investments in new sustainable mobility projects. The project also falls under the EIB Group’s sustainable cities and regions, and innovation, digital and human capital public policy goals.

Around one-third of the funds will be spent on developing Aena airport facilities located in Spanish regions that the European Union classifies as less developed, where the gross domestic product per capita is less than 75% of the EU average. As a result, the operation will also promote social and economic cohesion, help reduce regional inequalities, and promote investment in less developed areas.

The signed loan of €140m is the third tranche of an EIB financing approved in 2022 totalling €800m.

A third of the funds will be spent on regional airports
A third of the funds will be spent on regional airports Aena