Staff Reporter

AENA (the Spanish Airports Authority) has put the construction of the aircraft parking platform (which will be in front of the terminal building) in Palma airport out to tender, with the aim of allowing aircraft access to the interisland terminal.

The budget for the work is 12.4 million euros and it is expected to be completed in 12 months. The work entails the demolition of the old Module B building, which is 27'000 square metres spread over two floors.

The demolition of this building, which is situated next to Module C (where all the “hub” operations take place), will be the start of the global remodelling of this part of the airport.

After the demolition of the old Terminal B, work will continue to demolish the Iberia Cargo, AENA-I and AENA-II buildings, which will allow the extension of the aircraft parking platform within the airport.

This will improve the airport's effectiveness and reduce the waiting time for interisland passengers to board their planes, as well as for the airport services, among them the “handling” time (ground services for aircraft and passengers).

The drastic change in this area, which at the moment houses a car park and a cafe as well as access to the control centre, will allow the turboprop planes, which fly on the routes between the islands, to park at the interisland terminal.

This will allow passengers to board their aircraft in the shortest time possible, as happens at the moment in Barcelona airport with Air Nostrum aircraft.

As a complementary work, AENA is planning the construction of a tunnel, approximately 225 metres long, so that the access to the control centre can be repositioned, as at the moment to access this part of the airport it is necessary to go a long way round the airport, on a road which passes the place where the aircraft parking platform is to be constructed.

This tunnel will give access to the building where the interisland flights will be boarded, which will be of 44'000 square metres of concrete flooring and 9'100 square metres of flexible flooring.

The tunnel will allow traffic to go from the old Terminal A to the control centre.
This will also cut short the distance which workers in the control centre and control tower have to travel in order to access their place of work.
The 1964-67 Airports Plan allowed for the extension of Palma airport after the Summer of 1962 when it handled more than two million passengers.
In Summer 1965, work was started on the construction of Terminal A, but due to the unusual increase in airport traffic, the work was extended to include the construction of a second runway and Terminal B, which was to focus on charter traffic.

The Terminal B building became operational in 1972 with great activity because of the increase in charter traffic, coming mainly from the UK and Germany.

The construction of the existing Terminal building, designed by the architect Pere Nicolau and opened in 1997, gave rise to the construction of Modules C and D, as well as the remodelling of the old Terminal A, leaving Terminal B inoperative, which was then used by other airport services.

Later, in April 2003, the building for the boarding of interisland flights was started, which was part of a strategic plan for the expansion of the airport's infrastructures to improve its effectiveness and the quality of service given to passengers and airlines.

Since the opening of the existing terminal building and the car park in April 1997, AENA has made a series of investments costing millions, which has doubled the final cost.

They invested around 240 million euros in 1993, and they have spent a similar amount on the construction of the interisland terminal, access tunnels to the modules, the cargo terminal, and the remodelling of the old terminal A, a new maintenance hangar, an electricity power station, General Aviation terminal and an industrial estate.