By Jason Moore
DOES anybody really believe that Palma airport needs to be expanded?
During nine months of the year the airport terminal is like a ghost town and now the authorities are planning to make it even bigger. The walking distances between arrival and departure gates are so long that Palma could even submit a bid to host international marathons! As we have seen, the summer season is getting shorter every year which effectively means that the airport is only working at capacity for about 60 days a year. There is no need to build a convention centre, there is so much under-utilised space at the airport it could easily hold large scale events with few problems. You have to take into account that in the last decade Palma airport has doubled in size. Apart from the enormous new terminal the two old existing terminal buildings are also in use. The reason why the airport needs to be bigger is allegedly to cope with the increase in passenger numbers over the next two decades. However, I do not see other airports following Palma's lead. Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, is still battling to expand in a dispute which has been on-going for almost 20 years. What Palma airport needs, I would say, is an indepth report into how empty space could be better utilised.

The ministry of tourism is already working on trying to attract more winter tourists but until this plan starts to bear fruit it is ridiculous to start talking about expanding the airport. There are many parts of the island which are crying out for more investment and spending more cash on what is a new project is outrageous. Majorca doesn't need the word's biggest airport, what it needs is a multi-functional airport designed with the island's and passengers' needs at heart.


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