Airport ownership and regulation in Spain: Explaining the resistance to change

Xavier Ballart, Casilda Güell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. This paper presents the case of Spain where the government recently decided to float 49% of the capital of the public agency in charge of the airport system but to keep the public control over airports. The research question is why did a conservative government prefer to keep a unified hierarchical public structure at the time it was starting to be perceived as an outmoded model? To answer this question we propose five hypothesis taken from political science and policy process theories and we confirm that ideas and beliefs within the policy subsystem together with the external shock of the 2008 economic crisis played a role in favor of policy change. However, core values of statewide political parties and political interests with regard to avoid higher territorial decentralization explain the policy reversal. Empirical results are based on the views of political and economic actors, both in favor and against the status quo, with regard to the propositions expressed in the hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
JournalJournal of Air Transport Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Airport ownership
  • Airport regulation
  • Economic crisis
  • Policy believes
  • Policy change
  • Political interests
  • Territorial power


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