The taxis are at the centre of political debate. | Jaume Morey

For Mallorca's politicians, arguments regarding Palma Son Sant Joan Airport have in recent years focused on plans for expansion and passenger numbers. These feed into debates concerning the island's carrying capacity, the volume of tourism, the environment and climate change. From both right and left have come calls for co-management, implicit to which are the deriving of direct financial benefit and a regulation of flights, the practicalities of which have never been delved into. This co-management may at one time have been conceivable, but after the partial privatisation of the Aena airports authority it ceased to be. Palma, the third busiest airport in the Aena network of 46 airports in Spain, is the most profitable. Forty-nine per cent of Aena shareholding is private. The Spanish government has recently stated that the "current model" for the network effectively excludes any involvement by regional governments.

Of less importance to the politicians, or so it has seemed, have been issues related to control and so ones that impact passengers. Passport and security controls are matters for the state - Aena, the Guardia Civil, the National Police. Even if they wished to, the island politicians would be unable to do anything about these issues; they don't have any powers. This vital infrastructure for Mallorca is ultimately a matter for Madrid. But, and as recent events prove, as soon as passengers leave the building, the management responsibilities shift.

The airport grounds and facilities are Aena's responsibilities, but into the equation come the Council of Mallorca because of main road management (but not roads inside the grounds), the Balearic government for transport inspection and Palma town hall for policing, e.g. roads and transport operators. But as the town hall has made abundantly clear, it will not provide a permanent police presence. There is no service agreement with Aena for police, so the town hall receives no payment, while there is also a question about resourcing - police are needed elsewhere in a city of over 400,000 people.

The chaos on the access road to the arrivals parking area and the clashes between taxi drivers and so-called pirate operators have attracted sufficient negative publicity to have elevated the airport into an issue for the elections on May 28, especially the Palma town hall election. Distant from the arguments about expansion and co-management, these are practicalities that require solutions.

From the left, the three parties of the current coalition administration, Mayor José Hila of PSOE says that "the local police will have a daily presence at the airport facilities and permanent communication with Aena so that if any incident occurs, the police can act urgently". Which sounds like a movement in the town hall's position regarding a permanent police presence. Hila is of the view that thirty minutes free parking at the express car park for arrivals will solve the traffic chaos; it is currently fifteen minutes.

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Neus Truyol of Més is more concerned with Aena. "The situations that have occurred at the airport highlight the problems that derive from an activity completely aimed at obtaining benefits for Aena, who do not plan the number of flights in relation to criteria such as sustainability or simple common sense."

Lucia Munoz of Unidas Podemos defends taxis as "an essential public service". This defence includes support for the decree which prevented Uber and similar from entering the market. "Vigilance and sanctions" are needed to deal with pirate transport, while public transport - more buses - would be a solution to the arrivals parking problems.

On the right, Jaime Martínez of the Partido Popular advocates more licensed drivers and temporary taxi licences. He will guarantee that there are more police, "their presence is essential", and insists that there needs to be more inspection, having a dig at the current government for not having carried out inspections of transport operators "over the past eight years".

The Vox candidate for mayor, Fulgencio Coll, says that problems would be solved by having more police presence, forcing compliance with the regulations and eliminating all kinds of unfair competition. "Any professional activity related to transport must be properly regulated and controlled, so that altercations do not occur."

Eva Pomar of Ciudadanos says that her party is "totally against" pirate transport and intrusion. As to the parking, she says that the Council of Mallorca should study solutions to improve airport road access and exit.

Well, at least they're talking about the issues. Meanwhile, a meeting has been convened for today at which representatives of the taxis and the pirate operators may just be able to arrive at some form of accommodation, regardless of what the politicians say.