National Police at the airport. | Policia Nacional

There have been regular clashes between taxi drivers at Palma Son Sant Joan Airport and unauthorised drivers. On Wednesday, the National Police arrested a taxi driver who assaulted a "pirate" driver, rupturing one of his eardrums with a punch.

Palma local police usually control illegal operations at the airport. They have identified a dozen suspected pirate taxi drivers, having intervened in eight incidents recently.

The National Police say that passengers should use public transport (buses) or transport with the necessary authorisation, which ensures that service is provided by qualified personnel. The police warn that passengers could be scammed and that unauthorised drivers and operators may not have sufficient insurance protection in the event of an accident.

At the airport, only licensed taxi drivers are allowed to pick up without a prior booking. Other operators may legally pick up if there is a booking. The problems at Son Sant Joan have tended to arise because other operators tout for passengers without bookings or because there are drivers who make out that they are taxi drivers but are not and do not have the necessary licence.