The GPS system of the Andorra-La Seu airport is now a reality. The Spanish Government has recently announced that the GPS device that will allow commercial flights to land at the Alt Urgell airport will be installed. This is the first airport in the entire Spanish territory that will have this technology.
The news, which comes at a time of global uncertainty with most countries fighting Covid-19, is a thread of hope for the country's economic recovery. Andorra, like the rest of the neighbouring states, is experiencing a difficult situation with travel restrictions and an economy in standby.
Once the restrictions are lifted, the airport will become another incentive to revive economic activity and tourism, a key sector of the country. In addition, experts in these fields foresee that countries that have managed the crisis correctly and have insured security measures will be highly valued by travellers. In this sense, and according to a study by the University of Singapore (SUTD Data-Driven Innovation Lab), Andorra aims to be one of the first countries in Europe to recover from the pandemic around June 1 and two months before Spain. Low mass tourism destinations, far from large cities and in contact with nature, will also be valued. These are features that can play in favour of Andorra as a tourist destination and can, at the same time, benefit the use of the Andorra-La Seu airport.
The Andorran minister spokesman, Eric Jover, has confirmed that the Government foresees "to use the infrastructure to promote the arrival of tourists but also to promote economic relations". The airport will not only be a driving force for the tourism sector, but will also help boost other economic sectors by attracting international conferences as well as major sporting or cultural events.
The Government has expressed its willingness to increase its power of decision over the management of the airport. The Minister of Economy and Business, Jordi Gallardo has promised to review the agreement signed with the Catalan authorities regarding the co-management of the infrastructure, until now based only on management and support.
Obtaining the GPS certification will allow flights with a capacity between 20 and 70 passengers to land from Madrid and Palma de Mallorca in one hour; Paris, Lisbon, Rome and Milan in two hours; and London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt in 3 hours.
Once the health crisis subsides, the airport will be a key element for the Principality's economic recovery allowing Andorra to be better connected to the rest of the world.