The ambulance was not escorted by police. | Alejandro Sepúlveda

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When a plane makes an emergency landing at Palma Son Sant Joan Airport because of a medical emergency on board, an ambulance goes to where the plane is in order to transfer the patient to hospital.

In such cases, it would seem that a police escort (Guardia Civil) for an ambulance is not routine. According to the airport's current regulations and to sources close to the investigation, it is not mandatory for Guardia Civil officers to go with ambulances to the scene of a medical emergency. On Friday, the ambulance was not accompanied.

The security protocol for such instances is already subject to analysis in order to make modifications. Meanwhile, the same sources suggest that there was another oversight - the incident was not communicated to the National Police. If a plane is from a non-Schengen country, which was the case on Friday, the National Police are meant to be informed. They have responsibility for immigration, and the plane had non-EU passengers on board who were in Spain.

It is understood that modifications to the protocol and security reinforcements will be finalised over the next few days. All parties involved are aware of the seriousness of what happened. As one source has suggested, if a security breach of this type had occurred in the middle of August, it is possible that airports across Europe would have been closed until there was clarification of what had happened. "It is an unfortunate image for the island."