Maurici Lucena of Aena (left), who was in Palma on Wednesday. | Pilar Pellicer

Maurici Lucena, president of the Aena airports authority, stated in Palma on Wednesday that the Spanish government has no plans to change the existing shareholding arrangement for airports. The state will continue to be a majority shareholder; there will be no more privatisation (49% of Aena is currently in private hands).

At a conference on the model of airport management for the next few years, Lucena stressed the important role played by Son Sant Joan Airport at an international level. Aena's investment in Palma between 2019 and 2021 is set to be 270.9 million euros. The commercial part of the airport is to grow by some 50%, but this won't involve using more land; the layout and organisation of the airport is to be altered.

With regard to Balearic government involvement in the airport's management, Lucena said that he didn't wish to enter into a political debate and didn't know if the government has actually requested such involvement. "The management of the network will be maintained as there is one strong argument in its favour - the efficiency of the current system."

As for development at the airport, Lucena explained that it is simply aimed at improving services. The airports authority has ruled out the building of a hotel but will be developing a residence, somewhere for employees to stay overnight.