Gibraltar's new airport terminal is scheduled for completion in May 2011 and will come into operation regardless of whether or not the works on the La Linea North Entrance have been completed, Chief Minister Peter Caruana has confirmed.
Speaking last week after the technical talks of the Tripartite Forum, Mr Caruana said that Gibraltar had obtained what it wanted from the Cordoba airport agreement and we were no longer excluded from EU aviation measures.
Mr Caruana explained that the North Entrance to the terminal which connects to Spain, was devised solely for the benefit of residents in the Campo but noted that it is entirely up to Spain to deliver on that, and that the delay in building the necessary installations on their side, would mean they do not benefit from that aspect of the agreement.
He said the matter was pending agreement between AENA (Spanish Airports and Airspace) - the state owned company that owns and manages airports in Spain - and the La Linea Ayuntamiento which owns the land where the project has to be built.
However Mr Caruana was less than optimistic about the prospects of completion of the Spanish side of the works in time for the May opening of the Gibraltar Terminal, judging by the inordinate amount of time it has taken Spain to carry out refurbishment works at the local Instituto Cervantes.
Meanwhile Mr Caruana commented on the obstacles that exist in finalising a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Madrid. The Chief Minister stated that Spain's political difficulty in signing an international treaty with the Rock, in the manner that other countries have already done, is what needs to be resolved to obtain a TIEA.
Spain believes that Gibraltar and all other crown dependencies and overseas territories do not have the right or capacity in international law to sign agreements with sovereign independent states, a view that is not shared by UK or the other countries that have already signed agreements with Gibraltar and other such territories.