Joan Collins PALMA airport occupies position 13 in the list of 20 busiest airports in the EU in 2004, handling 20.3 million passengers, some 6.5 percent more than the year before, according to figures published yesterday by the Statistics Office of the EU (Eurostat). On the list, Barajas airport in Madrid is in 5th place by virtue of the amount of passengers it handled in 2004, which was 38.1 million, some 7.9 percent more than in 2003. London's Heathrow airport was the busiest airport in the European Union with 67.1 million passengers (10 percent more than in 2003), followed by Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with 50.9 million (6.1 percent), then Frankfurt with 50.7 million (5.6 percent), and Amsterdam with 42.4 million (6.66 percent). Barcelona's El Prat airport had a bigger rise in passengers than Madrid in percentage terms (8.3), although its total number of passengers was less at 24.3 million. In the whole of the EU, which includes figures from the 25 member states, the volume of passengers passing through its airports rose to 650.4 million (8.8 percent more). Taking Spain in isolation its airports handled 129.7 million passengers (7.9 percent more). All member states of the EU increased their volume of passengers in 2004. However, seven out of the ten new countries which joined the EU on May 1 2004 recorded rises above 25 percent. These were Slovakia (72.7 percent), followed by Latvia (48.7 percent), then Esthonia (39.5 percent). Next came Lithuania (37.7 percent), Hungary (28.6 percent), the Czech Republic (28.2 percent) and finally Poland (25.8 percent). As for the rise in air freight traffic from or to any of the 20 most important airports of the EU, Helsinki was first with a rise of 33.9 percent, followed by Vienna with 24.5 percent, then Manchester with 21.9 percent, and Madrid (Barajas) with 19.8 percent. The top of the list for volume of air freight traffic was Frankfurt (with 1.8 million tonnes), followed by Amsterdam with (1.4), then London Heathrow (1.4), and Paris Charles de Gaulle (1.2). In fifth position was Brussels with 0.6 million. Madrid's Barajas airport was the only Spanish airport appearing on the list for air freight traffic, handling 0.3 million tonnes. In the whole of the EU the volume of air freight traffic rose by 9.6 percent to 10.7 million tonnes. Almost half of this volume was handled by British or German airports.