27 April 2012 09:19

By Bev Orton Jennings
 I had occasion to go to Larnaca airport this week.
No, I wasn’t jetting off anywhere exotic, I was doing the airport run... collecting family who’d been off overseas on a jolly.
It was an early evening arrival (I do like it when the people I so graciously offer lifts to have the decency to arrive at a civilised hour!), so there wasn’t a huge amount of traffic. I did, however, notice two cars stopped on the hard shoulder of the highway as I got near to the airport, bonnets open. Odd, I thought, that more than one car should break down at the same point.
Just as I was thinking that, the car in front of me braked suddenly and swerved to also stop on the hard shoulder. Continuing on to the airport, I turned left to head for arrivals to find the inside lane taped off. Obviously the authorities have grown tired of people blocking the lane when they park up to wait for arriving friends and family. I had to smile at what I assume is their solution... blocking the lane entirely!
As I continued on (to the much more spacious Departures Area – my arrivals had been well briefed), it dawned on me that the broken down motors weren’t conked out at all… I’m sure the drivers were just sat there, mobile phone ready in hand waiting for the message to collect arriving passengers.
Driving out of the airport, I found that inside lane blocked – yep, by waiting drivers. Obviously the authorities ran out of tape! As I indicated clearly and pulled out around them, I met the blaring horn of the speeding BMW that screeched up behind me with a traditional Anglo Saxon hand signal and continued on my way.
Frankly, this is a mess. I don’t necessarily blame the airport powers that be… after all, they do provide 20 minutes of free parking. But I have to wonder if we wouldn’t all be better served by an area of free off-road parking where drivers waiting for arrivals could sit in their cars without blocking up the road or having to resort to lame tricks. Policing it would be easy: simply hit unattended vehicles with a hefty fine and a judicious spot of clamping and I’m sure there’d be a profit in it too.