Work at the airport, but not on Globalia expansion. | MDB


At the end of 2021, a Palma town hall council meeting rejected initial approval of the Aena airports authority's 'special plan' for Son Sant Joan Airport. The consequence of this was that no new building or activity licences could be granted to third parties. Until approval is given - if it is given - all new development is paralysed. The rejection was based on a report from the urban planning department.

This doesn't affect the Aena plans for redevelopment of buildings, as these have been classified as being in the "general interest". They are in effect state plans and so take precedence over municipal permissions. But it does affect projects such as the expansion of the Globalia hangar (Air Europa) and a new hangar for Ryanair.

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The rejection also affects a project in which the town hall has a very close interest - the tram to the airport - as Aena wishes to cluster the various transport services, which would include the terminal for the tram. Furthermore, there is a direct impact on aeronautical services companies; their projects have been halted.

The airports authority says that the purpose of this plan is "to achieve full integration of the airport" and thereby facilitate economic development in Mallorca. It doesn't involve consumption of land beyond that which is available in the airport's grounds.

There is criticism of the town hall in that it is preventing the creation of new jobs and is neglecting the airport's "qualitative value". While level of activity at the airport depends on the season, it is nevertheless an all-year facility that is vital for the island economy. Moreover, the airport generates significant tax revenues for Palma town hall and for the Balearic government.