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Many major airports not delaying capex despite COVID-19

Premium Analysis

Capital expenditure is usually the first casualty of any downtown. In the current climate it might be expected that infrastructure plans might be revised or even cancelled altogether.

In some cases that is happening, but so far in the world’s top 50 airports by passenger numbers most of them are non-committal about such action, or at least they are not talking about it.

Just as there has been for security and environmental expenditure in the past, there will undoubtedly be a requirement for ‘health-related’ expenditure within terminals, and large-scale long term projects may have to be delayed, or even axed altogether, to pay for it. As yet no one knows what the typical cost of such expenditure might be, but if active passenger/employee space is to be halved in an airport it could amount to a lot.

Meanwhile, some operators are, conversely, pro-actively planning for the future. What is known for sure is that the actual degree of known capital expenditure at these top airports is considerable.

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