ACE Wins 34-Airport RFP in Spain


ACE Wins 34-Airport RFP in Spain

ACE, led by President Steve Burton, was made aware of a large parking management RFP in Spain. The RFP was issued by and overseen by AENA the agency that oversees the operations and management of 34 airports in Spain. The RFP divided the airports into two specific groups called Lot 1(Madrid) and Lot 2(Barcelona). Each lot had approximately 17 airports located throughout Spain. The RFP included the ability to propose on one or both lots and provided AENA the flexibility to make one consolidated award or two separate awards.

How often do you get an opportunity to manage the parking operations of over 30 airports all in one proposal process?

In a matter of several days, ACE made contact with two Spanish companies that were very interested in proposing on the RFP. After a couple of meetings online, the executive team at ACE saw the potential in this opportunity and determined that ACE would joint venture with these two companies in response to this RFP. Our joint venture partners were EYSA and SETEX, both long established parking and on-street companies in Spain who needed ACE’s airport operation and marketing experience to qualify for this RFP. The three companies formed a business relationship that had immediate chemistry. This project would test the fortitude and stamina of all three partners during the RFP process. We had approximately 60 days to complete a very extensive proposal process. 

Prompt RFP Scope Engagement was Essential

The process began in early June 2021 and ACE jumped in with both feet even without the complete knowledge of what would be required of us. We determined what ACE would have to do to respond to this RFP and the AENA/Spanish government agency requirements which were distinctly different from Airport RFPs in the USA. ACE committed to learning how to respond to the RFP’s extensive tasks requirements. Our newly found partners provided the initial instructions on how we needed to officially respond to the RFP’s extensive Technical Minimum Requirements. There were significant challenges to meet, but ACE accepted them because the potential of being awarded 34 Airports in one contract was worth the monumental effort.

Overcoming Obstacles and COVID-Related Challenges

ACE had to create individual technical documents for each minimum requirement within the RFP (Similar to Major Airport RFPs in the U.S.). Size, scope, and experience had to completed in English. Once all the documents had been created, they had to be notarized, translated into Spanish and then Apostilled. This process was very difficult to complete. The Apostilling process involved the State of California Office of the Secretary of the State. Getting this done during COVID proved to be an enormous challenge. Documents had to be completed prior to the end of July the due date for the RFP, but we could not visit the State offices in Los Angeles or Sacramento to hand deliver and ensure the document process was being completed in a timely manner.

While processing the Apostilled documents, ACE also had to simultaneously work on getting the most important documentation requirement processed through the State and the Spanish Consulate. The Consulate needed certification from the State to verify ACE was in “Good Corporate Standing”. This process was initially through the Secretary of the State. Once received, the difficult part was getting the documents translated into Spanish, Apostilled and sent to the Spanish Consulate in Los Angeles to authorize ACE to do business in Spain. Because of COVID, it was also impossible to get an in-person appointment and very difficult to reach a person at the Consulate for assistance.

After dozens of phone calls and email messages, we were able to get in contact with the Spanish Consulate days prior to the due date of the RFP (July 30, 2021) and was able to get the documents executed and sent back to ACE in time for the RFP submission (failure would have resulted in our proposal response be non-admissible)

Starting March 1, 2022, ACE Parking, in partnership with Spanish companies EYSA and SETEX, began managing the parking facilities and transportation services at 34 major and mid-major airports in Spain. This includes Madrid and Barcelona Airports.

• Scope of the Project

• Transition of hundreds of employees at multiple airports in less than 24 hours

• Airport enplanements over 90,000,000 million annually

• Over 100,000,000 annual parking transactions

• Approximately 150,000 parking spaces

• Exclusive management of every parking facility at each airport

• Services include management of Self-Park, Valet, VIP Programs, Facility Maintenance and PARCS equipment Maintenance 

• Multiple Airport Shuttle Operations

• Customer Service program management & reporting

• Online Reservation Platform coordination and management

• Electric Vehicle charging services

• Implementation of Centralized Control Center, Accounting/Financial/Operational Metrics on Real-time Dashboards for 34 Airports

A Smooth Transition

Following our successful transition on March 1, 2022, ACE executives now have weekly meetings with our partners in Spain and have received compliments from our client AENA on how smooth the transition has been. We have several more initiatives to implement in the coming months that will improve upon the operations even more. With our first month of operations completed we are looking forward to evaluating the financial performance and continuing to add value for AENA through ongoing operational improvements.

Celebrating Our Hard-Won Success

ACE is extremely pleased with the outcome of this RFP. We are looking forward to working on this very important portfolio of Airports and leveraging this experience to grow our footprint in the European Union and beyond. We are ready to show the world what ACE can do and look forward to continuing our growth in the United States and now in Europe.

“This herculean effort by ACE and my team could not have happened at many U.S. based parking companies. The ones that could have qualified, would have been stuck in committee, legal, or the Board level trying to even look at and respond to this RFP opportunity. Not, so with ACE! As the largest privately owned, 72-year – third generation Parking Company in the country, ACE was nimble enough to mobilize our organization within hours and successfully responded to a 34 Airport RFP in less than 60 days – and WON!”

Steve Burton, President, ACE Parking

For more information about ACE’s services and expertise or to contact ACE directly please visit 

Article contributed by:
Steve Burton
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