Airport security will be topping the agenda next week in Palma as over 30 European countries gather for a three-day conference on airports and airport development. While various issues are to be discussed, such as airport expansion plans and the regional management of airports, a proposal the Balearics is very much in favour of, a special session will be dedicated to security. The director of AENA, the Spanish airport authority, Pedro Argüelles, announced only last week that over the next three years, 10.000 million pesetas is to be spent on improving security measures in order to make sure that the level of security surrounding both the aircraft and the airports terminals is massive. Pedro Argüelles and representatives from airports from France, Spain and South America met last week to discuss airport security and AENA will be expanding on the conclusion to the talks in Palma next week and outlining AENA's three-year improvement plan. One of the main problems facing airport authorities is the huge cost of tightening security and Argüelles said that all governments have to play a more important role over the next few years. Argüelles said that neither the meeting in Madrid nor this week's conference have been called as a direct response to September 11.
Airport security has always been extremely tight, but regularly reviewed and improved. People know that they are safer flying than travelling by car, but they feel safer in a car than in a plane, he said. Aircraft manufacturers, the airlines, the European Commission and airport authorities will be present in Palma next week and many of the recommendations made by the International Federation of Pilots Association in Majorca two weeks ago will be analysed.