Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT of the Balearics, Jaume Matas, spoke out yesterday on what he believed to be “magnificent news”: that central government is to decentralise the management of the country's airports.

Matas congratulated Magdalena Alvarez, head of the Ministry of Public Works, for giving such a response to appeals for airport management decentralisation which had been made by different regions in Spain, including the Balearics.

Matas pointed out that prior to the general elections earlier this year, the Balearic Parliament had unanimously approved a proposal asking for negotiations to start on allowing decisions relating to regional airports to be placed in the hands of local government.

Matas, who is also an ex central government minister, said he hoped that the commitment will become a reality “as soon as possible”.
He pledged that if the system is finally put into practice, “I will be the first to congratulate Magdalena Alvarez for having responded so positively to our needs”.

Matas highlighted the fact that the decentralisation of airport management will allow the regional decision-makers to tackle issues at first-hand.
The decision to allow the regions to “participate” in the management of their airports is, says Alvarez, a step on the road to “guaranteeing the best possible service to users”. However, no blueprint has yet been revealed for the manner in which such local management is to be channelled.

Apart from the delight of the Balearic government, the Balearic Business Federation, CAEB, and the Spanish Association of Airline Companies (AECA) also agreed on backing this historical decision which has been awaited for so long.

The Islands' minister for Transport, Mabel Cabrer, supported Jaume Matas by reiterating that this much-sought-after move comes in response to a unanimous Balearic parliamentary appeal drafted in February this year, 2 months before the general elections.

Socialist Opposition groups had said that the centralised airport management system prevailing at that time was incompatible with regional legislation, and was, furthermore, “unconstitutional”.

Josep Oliver, president of CAEB, described the decision as “great news”.


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