Polynesia: The State appoints Vinci as concessionaire of Tahiti-Faa’a airport, an appeal will be filed

The announcement was made this Friday by the central government in Paris. In a press release, the Ministry of Ecological Transition in charge of Transport says “aware of the need for the Polynesian territory to benefit from an airport commensurate with its economic and tourist challenges ” and specifies that the offer of Vinci Airports ” has the best overall economic benefit ” and ” proposes a coherent, effective and ambitious project for the platform “.

12 years of procedure

In September 2021, after two years of competitive bidding, the State had however preferred the offer of the Egis group, current operator of Tahiti-Faa’a within the company ADT. A group already designated in 2010 to take the reins of the airport, before the courts canceled the award for the first time in 2017. Rebelote at the end of October 2021. If Vinci had declared himself “ good loser “, the group closely monitored the appeal launched by the CCISM, another unsuccessful candidate for this concession with its TI’A group (with Boyer, Meridiam and Aéroport Marseille Provence).

The administrative court of Papeete then canceled not the procedure, but the offer of Egis which did not fulfill, after analysis, all the criteria of forms fixed by the specifications. After confirmation of this disqualification of Egis by the Council of State last March, Paris had only two options: relaunch a call for competition entirely – a procedure which could last 2 to 3 years – or award the contract. to the candidate who came second. After six months of struggle and a presidential election, option 2 was chosen.

Read also: In Polynesia, justice once again cancels the Tahiti-Faa’a airport concession won by Egis

And the offer that arrived second was that of Vinci Airports, ahead of that of the TI’A group. The subsidiary of the French construction and concessions giant, which manages, with ten thousand employees, no less than 52 airports in the world. There are a dozen French airports (Lyon, Nantes, Rennes, etc.) but also platforms in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Japan, or, closer to home, the United States and Chile. Its offer, no more than that of its competitors, has not been made public, but Vinci, a group with a strong presence in the construction industry, presented a particularly advanced modernization plan for the Tahiti-Faa’a platform and proposed the construction of a dedicated Swac.

A ” new airport »

They are going to build a new airport, and we like that “, has also commented Édouard Fritch to TNTV this morning, we can no longer continue to repair, this system is finished”. During its visit to Paris last week, the Ministry of Transport undertook to give an answer within two weeks. He was finally faster. ” I think they took note today of the urgency for the country to better develop our airport, our gateway “, He specifies, always at the microphone of the TV of the Country. ” Airlines are coming to the door of the country and this element is crucial: we cannot afford to welcome tourists in bad conditions. “.

Read also: Polynesia: Clément Beaune “has promised to move quickly on the awarding of the contract for Tahiti-Faa’a airport”, assures Édouard Fritch

On the side of Vinci Airports, we say to ourselves ” proud to have been nominated. ” We will be fully committed to making this infrastructure a gateway that meets the needs and expectations of the territory, both in terms of quality of service and environmental ambition, for the long-term and sustainable development of Polynesia’s connectivity. », Nicolas Notebaert, the company’s president, told AFP.

According to Paris, Vinci must take the reins of the concession for 40 years ” before the end of the first half of 2023“. But the group should start trading with the Country much faster than that. Like Egis with ADT, Vinci Airports must form an operating company in which Polynesia will, by right, be a 49% shareholder. The concession contract stipulates that the new structure must include all ADT employees, and launch the redevelopment of the terminal, the car parks, the creation of a new taxiway for aircraft and the doubling of the drainage. According to the presidency, a presentation of Vinci’s plan for Tahiti-Faa’a airport should be made next week.

Not the end of the soap opera

Twelve years after the concession was first awarded to Egis, are we finally seeing the end of the airport soap opera? Some dream of it, but nothing is less certain. Because during its last appeal against the award, the CCISM had put on the table a cascade of arguments to request the cancellation of the Egis offer but above all the cancellation of the call for competition itself. The judge in chambers had then retained only one point – relating to the offer rather than to the procedure – but the lawyer for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry had specified in October that new appeals would be launched in the event of allocation to Vinci. The Egis group, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts and therefore very close to the State, would also be justified in taking action.

Later in the day, the CCISM finally confirmed the filing of a new appeal in this case. For the president of the CCISM, Stéphane Chin Loy, and the partners of the TI’A group, the decision announced by the Ministry of Ecological Transition was only a half-surprise: “The State has the option of designating the 2e or the 3e candidate. We felt that all the specifications of the call for tenders were flawed, that’s why we attacked the first time. For us, it was necessary to launch a new call for tenders precisely to avoid all the different appeals that will continue to fall. It was in our eyes the best solution, which is not retained today”.

Radio 1 Tahiti

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