Iñigo de la Serna, the Minister of Development, was in Elche on Thursday morning, where was able to take part in the test drive of a train on the section of the high speed rail link between Elche and Murcia.

Although the journey took 35 minutes to travel between to two cities, reaching a speed of 80 kilometres per hour, it is expected that when the AVE starts operating, it will travel at 280 km per hour which will reduce the journey time to just 20 minutes.

The minister used the occasion to announce that has instructed the Secretary of State for Infrastructure to initiate a feasibility study to see how best the airport can be linked by train to the AVE station in Alicante. The idea was initially costed in 2010 at 240 million euros but it was shelved as a result of the economic crisis.

Thus begins the countdown as the government now attempts, once more, to resolve one of the major issues that their airport has, in a year where it is expected to exceed 13 million passengers and where it has the ideal space to build the proposed railway station.

Indeed the European Commission itself says that all airports that exceed 6 million passengers a year should have a railway station which is connected to the nearest major city. Alicante-Elche airport can boast double that amount.