Palma airport. | Teresa Ayuga


The Balearics Environment Commission has been considering plans for changes to operations at Palma's Son Sant Joan Airport. The commission, a regional government body, has been looking in particular at alterations to the system for manoeuvring and believes that there should be analysis of the impact of this system redesign on load capacity in Majorca.

A project has been drafted for, among other things, the optimisation of aircraft movement. This will result in certain improvements, such as fuel saving, and it will also mean a 4.47% increase in air transit capacity. The redesign is for current and future traffic flows.

The commission says that if the redesign for arrival and departure manoeuvres is not exclusively for improving operational safety, but envisages an increase in passenger numbers, there should be a thorough analysis of the consequences for natural resources. This should take into account the current situation of a high level of saturation and fragility of the island's environment. The national ministry of development is being asked not to authorise any project which will mean increases to flight and passenger numbers.

In addition, the commission wishes there to be measures with regard to noise, especially at night, and to bird protection. It believes that the redesign could have a negative impact on black vultures in Majorca, and so therefore wants a study to be made. The commission doesn't, however, have the final say on any of this; the final say lies with the Spanish government.