AIRPORT car hire and pick-up companies have slammed the closure of a free drop-off zone.
Employers said the decision of Malaga Airport manager Aena to forbid their companies’ vehicles to park outside the terminal three building had created a ‘giant mess’ that would only ‘increase congestion.’
They are now threatening legal action and demonstrations against AENA, which announced the zone would be closed as part of currently ongoing works to tackle traffic jams.
Representatives from the two major car hire and minibus pick-up associations Aeca and Aesva have held meetings with Aena to try resolve the issue, which also affects private vehicles, so far without success.
Along with all private vehicles, some operators must now wait in one of 300 allocated spaces in the express parking zone, where they are now only entitled to 15 minutes free parking.
“Many small businesses could go bankrupt due to this,” said Félix Pinar, president of Aeca.
“It is impossible for them to wait only 15 minutes, especially when picking up multiple passengers.
“What’s more, there are not enough spaces in the express zone and it is already increasing congestion.”
Car hire and secure parking company Helle Hollis fears the effect of the change.
“At the moment our minibuses, which only drop people off in this area, can continue to use it but we will be moved too by March 21.
“Then our clients will have to walk some several hundred metres, which could cause them both confusion and to get wet if it rains.
“At the moment, we use specific lanes but under the new plans both companies and private drivers will be using the same.
“The situation is already causing a giant mess and by peak season it will become a nightmare. It will go totally against what Aena is trying to achieve.”
While not suitable for drop-off services, some companies have suggested bringing an area at terminal one back into use.
“But they (Aena) are not predisposed to listen to us,” said Ana María García, president of Aesva.
“We are frustrated as many of the companies are small to medium sized and family-owned and these are the ones who will disappear because of the lack of this free space.”