Spain's Minister for Public Works yesterday tried to ease the Balearics' concerns over the government plans to double the size of the islands' airports in order to handle twice as many passengers. Francisco Alvarez Cascos said that an increase in passengers does not necessarily mean an increase in the number of hotels and hotel beds. Some Balearic politicians are worried that, especially in the case of Majorca, a near doubling of the number of air passengers by the year 2015, will mean a sharp increase in the number of tourists. Cascos explained that the airport expansion plans have been drawn up in order to meet the projected growth in demand, not fuel an increase in passengers. Passenger traffic in Minorca is expected to rise by 1.8 times by 2015 and in Ibiza by 1.56 and Cascos wants the region's airports to be prepared in time. Over the past few years there has been a growing number of complaints from people who live in Palma airport's three flight paths about the noise and density of traffic and the platform against expanding operations at Palma airport is expected to gather momentum as air traffic steadily rises.

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