Palma de Mallorca International Airport is located 8km south-east of the city of Palma on the Balearic Island of Majorca, Spain. The airport is operated by Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Berea, or Aena (Spanish Airports and Air Navigation).
It is the third largest airport in the country, after Barajas and Barcelona airports. The airport serves 22 million passengers and records 180,000 aircraft movements annually. It handles 15,000t of cargo.
The airport was awarded the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Award in February 2012 by the Airport Council International (ACI).
History of Spain’s third largest airport and previous expansions
The history of Palma de Mallorca dates back to the 1920s, when the airport was used by postal service airlines. The company Aero-Taxi de Mallorca was established in 1934 to organise tourist flights to the city.
In 1935, LAPE (Líneas Aéreas Postales Españolas) was established and the first scheduled service began between Palma and Madrid. It was then called Son Sant Joan Airport. The airport was officially opened for commercial use in 1960.
In 1954 the runway was extended and asphalted for handling Sabre F-86 jets. The aircraft parking apron and the parallel taxiway were built during the same period. A VOR and a VHF communications centre was opened in 1958.
An airport extension plan with funds of $3.96m was formulated in 1964-67 focusing on runway extension, apron expansion, a new terminal to accommodate five million passengers, runway lighting, communication and navigation aiding.
Terminal A was constructed in 1965. Air navigation services were improved by installing surveillance radar. A second runway and an aircraft parking area opposite the terminal were completed in 1970s. Terminal B was also opened during this time.
Inter-island flight building construction and capacity increases
A boarding building was built for inter-island flights in 2003. A general aviation building was built at the airport, which increased the capacity of the airport to allow it to handle 20 million passengers a year.
A 14,457 square metres AirEuropa maintenance hangar was opened in May 2005. The arrival hall at the airport was expanded in October 2006 with a cost of $10.52m.
A proposal for construction of a new aircraft parking apron with an investment of $16.47m in front of the terminal building was put forward in August 2007. A construction contract for the project was awarded to Way Construction Services, with an execution period of 12 months.
Terminals and modules at Palma de Mallorca International Airport
The current terminal A was built and opened in 1997 to handle the increasing number of passengers.
The airport has four modules: A, B, C and D. Module A, which is on the north side of the airport, consists of 28 bridges. This is operational only during the summer.
Module B is located to the north-east of the airport and is the smallest module. Module C is the largest of all the modules. It is located in the east of the airport and has 33 gates. Module D is located in the south of the airport. It has 19 gates.
The old terminal B was demolished at the airport in March 2009 to facilitate the expansion of the apron and extension of Module C. The extension of Module C included an increase in the number of gates, from 20 to 33.
Contracts were awarded to Aldesa constructions, ThyssenKrupp Airport Systems and Siemens Group Company Tecosa. The project was completed in April 2010. Module C, after the expansion, has an area of 55,000 square metres. Eight duty free shops, five restaurants and a VIP room were opened in the module in July 2011 with an investment of $11.78m.
A new central platform next to Module B was opened in February 2010. The old building of Module B was demolished, and a new pavement hydraulic platform was built. This platform contains four parking spaces and associated taxiways, with a total area of 49,100 square metres.
Baggage reclaim and APC system at Aena’s Majorca international airport
As many as 22 internet hotspots, composed of computers and furniture, were installed in February 2010. Baggage reclaim belts were renovated with an investment of $1.41m in June 2010.
A new system of Air Quality Control (APC) was installed in the airport in April 2011. It is a part of the programme to control and monitor air pollution. The contract worth $0.4m was awarded to Elecnor.
New advanced safety equipment was installed at the airport in July 2011 to detect the traces of explosives in portable devices and wheel chairs.
Asphalt runways and $2.3m parking building expansion at IATA: PMI
There are two runways at the airport: 06L/24R, 06R/24L, both built of asphalt. Instrument Handling System Category II / III was installed in the airport in July 2004 for improvement in operations during bad weather conditions. Runway 06L/24R was asphalted in May 2009 for increasing the friction of the surface.
An expansion of the public parking building with an investment of $2.3m was undertaken in November 2007. Access control systems, collection management systems and licence plate reading systems were installed during the expansion.