THE construction of the new air freight terminal which will be opeative in May next year, will allow both national and foreign airlines to meet the growing demand for air freight transport facilities at both Spanish and European airports. According to sources of the Spanish Airports Authority (AENA), this increased activity is due in part to national econonomic regeneration (in the Balearics, gross product will be shown to have risen in 2006 by more than three percent). So far this year, this has meant that current installations are coping with an extra six percent of air freight movement. There have been very positive air freight movement figures recorded at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma, especially in the months of September, October and November this last month having witnessed a spectacular increase of 24.9 percent. To this has to be added statistics for May, June, July and August which completely outstrip figures for previous years. The upward trend has been boosted by demands in the services and food and beverage sectors of the Islands, and by the end of the tourist season this year, expectations had been exceeded to the point where the industry was closing down at the end of the first week in November, whereas normally it would not go beyond the end of September or at most at the close of the first fortnight in October. The construction of the new cargo terminal began in May this year and has meant, over various phases, the demolition of the Iberia Cargo building, Airport Authorities Buildings I and II, and the old Terminal B. AENA awarded a well-established construction company, Dragados, a 4'090'023 euro contract to put up the new cargo facilities within a period of eleven months. The project comprises a modular design of seven separate industrial units and an annexe which will act as a central control point for all the airport's freight movements. The Terminal construction has been designed so that it can be adapted for future extension and modification. Operators will be able to use vast parking areas for the movement of freight.

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