Licensed taxi drivers who operate from Alicante-Elche airport are once again putting pressure on the authorities to deal with both pirate and none-municipal taxis who operate without permission or legal protection from the airport, thus affecting the livelihood of those legally licensed to carry passengers.

In a meeting this week, association members representing taxi drivers have pointed out that following disturbances and promises last year, nothing has yet been done to tackle the problem.

They claim that on a daily basis they witness between 60 and 80 private vehicles collecting or dropping passengers off at the airport, in exchange for money, although many may be carrying out the task simply as a “favour” rather than a business operation, the taxi drivers still point out that the practice is not only illegal but renders the vehicle occupants without insurance should anything go wrong.

Add to that the problem of taxis from areas outside the Elche municipality collecting and dropping off without their required documentation, the drivers state that the situation is fast spiralling out of control.

Plans were approved last year for the creation of a barrier access system to the airport for dropping off and collecting, but the estimated implementation date of two months has long since passed, with the department of infrastructure saying in an interview that, “we are working on it” and that it will happen “soon”, although the department were unable to specify dates.

The delay in implementing the system has been put in the hands of the Ministry of Development, as it requires their permission to operate, on the grounds that they system will collect and record data of all vehicles passing through the control point to the pick-up and drop-off zones, resulting in compliance with data protection legislation being required.

Similarly, the reduction in police patrols has been cited as a cause for concern. One taxi driver said that, “there are many pirates, but nobody does anything”.

Although promises seem to have been forgotten, the official line is simply that it is taking longer than hoped t implement, but once it has been put in place, the authorities are sure that they will be doing everything in their power to protect the livelihoods of the official taxi drivers who have to pay a considerable fee in order to satisfy the terms of the provision of a license to operate as an official taxi.

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