Ecosystem

A team of three falconers patrol the runways with their falcons in order to avoid the presence of any birds that could result dangerous for aviation.

It is essential to guarantee the safety of aeronautical operations with respect to the presence of birds, as they could cause damage to the aircraft by being sucked into the turbines.

The solution adopted by the Palma de Mallorca airport to control birds on the grounds is falconry, a method that has thus far proven to be more effective with less environmental repercussions. Since the beginning of the year 2000, the airport has hired a team of three falconers who patrol the runways from dawn to dusk with their falcons to eliminate the presence of any bird that could endanger the aviation activities.

Wetlands area

The abandoning of a work area at the airport twenty years ago caused the sudden appearance of a wetlands area close to departure point 24L.

As a result of the expansion of the south runway's manoeuvring area and for the continued maintenance of the aeronautical operations' safety conditions, the need arose to take action in this wetlands area in a way that had the least possible impact on the ecosystem.

Thus, with the assistance from technicians specialised in this area, a study was begun in 1997 that defined the profile of a new lagoon as an alternative way to preserve this ecosystem.

Excavation was then carried out until reaching the water table, creating a permanent flood plain that is the heart of the alternative wetland. Likewise, several transfers have been made to bring water from the original wetland to this new area so that it has the same characteristics. In addition, various large specimens of Tamarix have been successfully transferred to the area and different species of vegetation have been replanted.

Furthermore, a vegetation corridor has been created for the birds that have settled in the wetland. This area acts as a feeding area as well as a refuge to prevent their flying off en masse (which could signify possible risks for aeronautic safety) in the event that they are frightened by people or vehicles in the area.

Once this initial phase was completed, the project's final phase was put into action, which involved authorisation from the Department of the Environment's Directorate General for Biodiversity. A new wetland has been established since, providing different bird species with a place to nest.