WITH the recent controversy over plans to double the size of Palma airport to cater for a capacity of over 20 million passengers, the Bulletin yesterday conducted a telephone poll to canvas public opinion on the island.
The poll had surprising results.
While just over half were against the idea in principle, those remaining were actively in favour of expansion. It all seems to depend on your vocation. Several of those favouring expansion worked in the tourism industry and acknowledged that although the airport is like a ghost town in the winter, the island still needs to keep up capacity to avoid delays in the summer. Others only saw the move as a necessary evil.
Those against the expansion pointed out more than once that passengers already have to walk ludicrous distances from check-in to the departure lounge and that large parts of the airport are already wasted. One of those against expansion pointed out that before we start increasing the size of the airport we should worry about filling hotel beds on the island - something tour operators failed to do last year. Whatever your opinion, the fact that the results of the poll were so closely tied reflects the catch-22 nature of the question: how to preserve what is already here while ensuring that tourism survives.