Palma airport is to pay compensation for the electricity black-out which brought chaos to the airport last October. More than 100'000 passengers were affected. The Director of the Airport Authority (AENA) Pedro Arguellas admitted that “they were responsible, but not guilty” for the black-out caused by a fault in the airport's power-station. Arguellas blamed a design malfunction for the breakdown which left the airport in darkness for six hours on October 21. It meant that no planes could land or take-off and that passengers had to take their own luggage from the aircraft. Airlines dismissed the state of affairs as more reminiscent of a third world nation. The Director of the Airport Authority said that they would be paying compensation to airlines to the tune of 51 million pesetas. The costs will be covered by the airport insurance company. Arguellas stressed that he had not come to Palma to find a “scape-goat” as he said that it was obvious the breakdown had not been caused by “human error”. Overall the airport authority received 193 requests for compensation of which 49 are thought to be just and worthy of financial aid. The Director of AENA was yesterday quoting from an official investigation carried out by experts from a mainland university. He said that a series of changes had been made to the power-station which would mean that the breakdown would never occur again. The power-station came online when the new terminal building opened four years ago. Airlines questioned the fact that there was no back-up system at the airport. The incident left airport officials red-faced and was reported in newspapers across the world. The black-out also could not have come at a worse time because it was a Saturday and marked the end of the busy summer season. The local government called for an official inquiry and heavily criticised the airport authorities for the fault and all the negative publicity it caused. Airlines said that it was a state of affairs which should simply never happen and also claimed that it could have been very dangerous.

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