Balearics calling for more police to ease Palma airport queues

The Balearic Government has asked the Central Government Delegation to the Balearics and the Spanish airport authority Aena for more at Son Sant Joan airport, in Palma, to reduce the queues at passport control which are proving a nightmare for British passengers.

In Parliament this morning the Minister of the Presidency, Public Function and Equality, Mercedes Garrido, pointed out that the airports are the responsibility of the State and, therefore, the Balearic Government does not have the powers to solve the problems.

The queues at Palma airport topped the agenda at this morning’s session in parliament.

The Ciudadanos (Cs) MP Marc Pérez-Ribas said there has been a “lack of foresight” given that the numbers of British tourists arriving this season were known in advance and most of them are being stuck in the queues as a result of the new controls established after Brexit.

Despite a meeting between the various authorities back in April about the need for more police at Palma airport, opposition parties were critical about nothing having been done and that there is a lack of state police in the Balearics due to the high cost of living and the fact that the financial bonus for members of the security forces moving to the Balearics to work being far from sufficient to cover their costs.

UK tour operators say that passport controls for UK holidaymakers at Palma Son Sant Joan Airport are causing “huge queues” every Saturday and that these queues are having a knock-on impact on baggage reclaim and transfer coaches.

The tour operators are wanting an increase in the number of National Police officers in order to speed up passport control and thereby avoid problems for coaches that are waiting for tourists to be transferred to hotels. The coaches are parked for longer than they should be, and this is creating some chaos in the arrivals area parking zone.

The complaints are directed at the Spanish government delegation in the Balearics, as this is the body which has responsibility for provision of police. “We hope that they will take the appropriate measures to expedite passport control,” says one tour operator representative.

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