IN a bid to prevent the privatisation of Palma airport and Son San Joan being hijacked by a foreign or overseas company or consortium, the Balearic government, in co-operation with the autonomous governments in Cataluña, the Basque Country and the Canaries, has launched a drive for the management of the airports to be handed over to the autonomous governments. Sources in Barcelona said yesterday “we could end up with an AENA (Airports and air traffic control authority) managed from Miami if we go ahead with the privatisation policy announced by central government.” The four autonomous governments have drawn up a white paper which will be discussed in April, and all of Spain's autonomous governments will be invited to take part in the debate on the future of the country's airports. The white paper firmly rejects the privatisation of AENA's management, along the lines laid down by the Ministry for Development in Madrid, and calls for airport management to be handed over to the relevant regional government, as it will be the autonomous body which will be best aware of the needs and requirements of the community and their airport, therefore being able to manage the airport accordingly. The bottom line for Balearic government and its colleagues is that when the state gives up its management of Spanish airports, the respective autonomous governments automatically take over full responsibility.