Friday, February 20, 2015

AENIB Awards 2015: Port Authority of the Balearic Islands

The Port Authority receives the award for the public entity that has collaborated most with the nautical sector. AENIB wants to recognize the work by Alberto Pons as the president of the Port Authority, his approachability and his knowledge of the specific situation of the recreational yachting on our islands. On the occasion of the award, we made contact with Mr Pons in order to get the point of view of the institution in various areas.  

This year APB receives the award for the public entity that has collaborated most with the nautical sector. What does this recognition mean to you personally, and as the president of the institution?

I would like to keep my personal feelings to myself, but as the president of the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands I´m very pleased about the repercussion it has on the sector that is vital for the economy of the ports and the region for the income and jobs it generates.

You took the post as the president at the end of 2013 with a firm intention to improve the public image of the Port Authority. Do you think you have managed do do this?

What I have tried to do is to communicate and to inform about the various things that an institution like this does.  Whether this improves the image of the institution, could be. What is certain, APB is part of many aspects of the every day life of the citizens without them always being aware of it.

One of the other goals as the new president was to reduce the port taxes...

I´m aware of the situation and we are studying ways of not only reducing the taxes, but also clarifying the application processes.  

We would like to know your opinion about the nautical sector in the port of Palma, considering that it generates a good portion of the income of APB.

The nautical sector knows my opinion already. For the port of Palma it means being world leaders in service  and a reference point in quality for our competitors.

Many maintenance and repair refit companies feel that they are left to fend for themselves when it comes to carrying on with their activity. What actions is APB going to take in order to support the activity of this sector?

I don´t share this feeling. We are more than aware of these companies within the sector. In fact, the General Plan of Infrastructures of the Port of Palma contemplates an important increase of square meters to support and to consolidate an industrial activity that we consider Strategic for our future.

During the last years the sector has experienced a series of important legal and fiscal changes. The exemption of the matriculation tax on charter yachts, the new Law of Navigation, the reform of the nautical qualifications, etc. How do you think these changes are going affect the immediate future of our sector? And in the long term?

This is one of the more complicated issues we are facing, as this succession of changes of rules cause confusion. It is difficult for the companies to have a clear vision of the legal framework, which in my opinion is too changeable.

On the 25th of February the new General Plan for the port of Palma is going to be presented. Could you summarise for us what improvements it is going to introduce? How do you think it will be received by the users and the businesses?

Until now the plan has been well received among those to whom we have had a chance to explain it. Basically, the main ideas of the plan are: to remove the heaviest por activities away from the city by constructing a new dock and by landfill to gain more surface, to divide the port in sectors in order to optimise the activities and to invest in a better integration between the port and the city.

What are the future challenges of APB? 

Our vision as a company is to be a reference point in quality when it comes to integrating the port operation with the providing of both basic and complementary services to people and companies.

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