Some of the residents opposed to the plan. | pam

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The Son Bonet Pulmó Verd platform in Marratxi is opposed to the creation of a photovoltaic park at the aerodrome and which would be on land that the airports authority Aena owns but has been used for decades as a recreational space by local residents.

A question has, however, arisen as to Aena's ownership claim, and the group is drawing on historical developments to challenge this. It has said that the director of Son Sant Joan Airport, Tomás Melgar, has lied about the photovoltaic project and the history of Son Bonet; it is Aena who intend establishing the park.

The group maintains that the aerodrome was expropriated in the early twentieth century by the ministry of defence, then the ministry of war, in order to build an engineers barracks. During the Civil War, the Nationalists forcibly expropriated a large part of the Son Bonet land, partly for the use of Italian bombers. After subsequent administrative changes, the land was formally expropriated, the only entity with the power to do so having ultimately been the state.

In the group's view, Melgar's words are "a great aberration". He said that Aena bought the land, but Aena "did not even exist when it was purchased by the state". "The expropriation was for airport use, not for energy commercialisation purposes."

Land was expropriated "in troubled times", while the fact that Aena is a publicly owned company (still 51% owned by the state) "does not justify a change in the use of the land nor that Aena wants to bypass regional regulations". The group is also critical of Melgar for having said that there is no room for a "photovoltaic mega-park" at Son Sant Joan.

"We are talking about the third largest airport in Spain and one which also has a real estate investment plan. No one has doubted that the project presented by Aena is an attack on the residents of Marratxí."