BALEARIC President Francesc Antich said yesterday in Madrid that he wanted a meeting with Central Government's ministry for Public Works to discuss special terms for regional airport management.

Antich said that the conditions he would like to see set out for the Balearic Islands within the Spanish National Airport Authority reforms should also apply to the Canary Islands.

The Balearic President was speaking after having signed an agreement with Public Works Minister Jose Blanco for the financing of a number of infrastructure projects in the Islands.

Antich said that mobility for people living in island communities depends largely on air transport and for both the Balearic and Canary Islands, airport services are key to the success of the tourist industry. “The way that our airports are managed,” said Antich, “is of the utmost importance to the Islands' Services sector and by default to the regional gross domestic product. “In this sense, I feel it would be in the interests of the Balearic Islands for special terms and conditions to be established within the framework of the reorganisation of the Spanish National Airports Authority (AENA).” Meanwhile, also in Madrid yesterday, Balearic Minister for Transport and the Environment, Gabriel Vicens, handed a report to Isaías Taboa, the Secretary of State for Transport.

The report was approved by the Balearic government earlier this month and calls for “special consideration” for the regional airports.
The report states that the government is opposed to complete or partial privatisation of the airports, whether it be through concessionary arrangements or any other formula which would take the infrastructure away from public management.

The Balearic government is keen to establish competitive airport taxes for both airlines and passengers that will increase the region's competitivity with other holiday destinations. The policy forms the basis of Antich's request to Blanco for “special consideration.” Taboa reportedly told Vicens during their meeting that there were no plans to partially privatise Balearic airports as there had been with Barajas airport in Madrid and El Prat airport in Barcelona.