THREE local mayors, decidedly unhappy, have held an urgent meeting to discuss the planned, night-time closure at Tenerife South Airport, which, they stress, means the island will be without flights, in or out, during a three-month period.
The closure must be at night to avoid wrecking day-time, airline schedules, and it is necessary because the runway needs repaving and maintenance.
But a collective statement from Adeje’s José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, Arona’s José Julián Mena, and Pedro Martín, the Guia Isora Mayor, said: “This is an unacceptable situation.”
The trio, who met on Wednesday to discuss the situation, expressed “total rejection of the position, because it will mean the island is without flight connections at night”.
The statement adds: “The North Airport isn’t open during night-time hours, and now the South Airport is also going to close for three months.
“The island will be isolated, and the consequences for the residents, and for the tourism sector, will be terrible. This is unacceptable.”
Rodríguez Fraga, Mena and Martín, who have no alternative solution for resurfacing the runway, which is why the airport must close, are asking the regional government, and Tenerife Cabildo, to explain the gravity of the issue to the relevant, national department for development.
That’s because, says their statement, “it will leave the people of Tenerife in a complicated situation”.
The Mayors have outlined the importance of the airport as a fundamental infrastructure for the South of the island, fundamental for the residents, and for the main, economic motor of Tenerife’s tourism.
“This is the third-most-profitable airport in Spain, with 11.2 million passengers, and more than 70 million euros in income, annually.
“We cannot be treated in this way, and the decision has been taken with no regard for the importance of this time of year.”
The trio also pointed out how the closure served only to vindicate their support for a second runway.
They also said that the airport authority’s decision added to the list of examples of how the South of the island was badly treated by the regional government… “motorways, the public hospital, etc”.
Meanwhile, South Airport officials have made it clear that the airport will have to close at night, from 3rd April until 30th June, for runway repaving and maintenance, which will cost some 4.7 million euros.
And, they insist, no airline will be able to operate Tenerife flights during this time.
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