The Balearic environment and urban sprawl is to be controlled from the skies using the very latest technological equipment in Europe. A new state-of-the-art eye in the sky was unveiled yesterday by the Balearic Minister for Public Works, Francesc Quetglas. The especially equipped light-plane will be used to regularly take aerial pictures and map the Balearics to help the authorities protect the environment and keep a check on construction. Quetglas explained that the aircraft will take pictures from an average height of 2.745 metres and be able to produce perfect maps. The aircraft is fitted with equipment very similar to that used in the warheads of guided missiles and the pilots will swoop across the islands, from east to west, as the on-board cameras systematically photograph the entire region. The precision equipment is able to read the topography of the land, even the height betwen pavements and the roads. Captain Odón Jofre said yesterday that the plane will even be able to pick out traffic lights and advertising bill boards. The primary role of the aircraft will be to provide the authorities will digital interactive maps of the region which can be produced extremely quickly because of the advanced technology being used. The plane has already been used to map Minorca and will photograph Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Quetglas said that his department has invested heavily in the project and in conjunction with the autonomous governments in the Canaries and Navarra have purchased a new fully-equipped aircraft which is due to come into service shortly. Once this current operation has been completed in the Balearics within the next few days, the plane will fly to the Canaries and Navarra before returning to photograph the Balearics again next year. However, once the Balearics has its own plane, regular checks will be made on the Balearic environment and the authorities will to able to make sure no one is breaking the planning laws.

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