Severe Storm Causes Major Disruptions at Palma Airport

Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

Airport Operations Temporarily Grounded

On Tuesday, the 11th of June 2024, Palma Airport was severely affected by heavy rainfall. The airport operator AENA temporarily suspended operations for about 2 hours during the worst period “due to the impossibility of operating safely”.

Record Rainfall

While some places of the island remained unaffected, the deluge was concentrated in very specific points of the Balearic capital. According to AEMET, the State Meteorological Agency, the storm brought an unprecedented 45 litres of rain in just one hour, with peaks reaching up to 90 litres.

Flooding Impacts Access and Infrastructure

The heavy downpours resulted in significant flooding, that inundated the airport’s terminal building, the car park, the access roads and the runway. Water started pouring through the roof in various places of the terminal and cascades of water could be seen rushing down over the entrance to the main terminal building.

Flight Cancellations and Delays

Of the 900 flights scheduled for Tuesday, around 100 were affected by the storm, having to be delayed or cancelled. Incoming flights were being diverted to other airports. The heavy rains made it impossible to deploy the passengers boarding bridges from the terminals, so many passengers were held up for hours in planes that had just landed. Thankfully, the airport’s computer systems remained operational.

Activation of Emergency Plan

In response to the crisis, Palma Airport activated its emergency plan. This is designed to manage such extreme situations and aims to ensure the safety of all passengers and staff while mitigating the impact of the disruption.

Impact on Passengers

On Tuesday, the situation left many travellers stranded or facing considerable delays. Today, airport operations have largely returned to normal. While some flights are still experiencing minor to moderate delays, many flights are leaving on time. However, travellers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest information on flight status.

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