Taxi drivers have turned the outdoor area of the Larnaca airport into a “coffee shop” with authorities seeking appropriate measures to put an end to their inappropriate behaviour, Transport Minister Alexis Vafiades said on Sunday.

The minister was commenting on photos that have been circulating online showing that several taxi drivers have placed wooden chairs and a table on the sidewalk and off-street parking right outside the airport’s exit.

The photos depict the relaxing professional drivers sitting on the chairs in a semi-circle with some having one leg crossed over the other.

“This situation cannot continue,” Vafiades told reporters in Paphos, noting that they are looking for a way to settle this issue.

Similar incidents took place at the Paphos airport and were “not the best”, he said.

The minister also referred to “fights and bloodshed at the airport” while he said the situation in Larnaca “is like a coffee shop outside the airport”.

This is “basically the first experience of our visitors,” Vafiades said.

“We are very concerned and we have held meetings with the relevant people, both with the President of the Licensing Authority and the contractor company, to see how this issue can be resolved since this situation cannot continue.”

Vafiades noted that there are some ideas on the table, but that they need to be implemented in a way that serves the needs of airports and those of taxi drivers. It is not a matter of “enforcement” but the right solution must be found, he explained.

We need “to listen to what the taxi drivers themselves have to say take the right measures”, he added.

Regarding the planned coastal road connecting Paphos airport with the Paphos-Geroskipou tourist area which was not granted an environmental permit, the minister said he will speak with the environment department’s experts who “know the subject matter”.

He noted that he will discuss any possibilities to overcome those environmental problems with the aim to address the needs of the local community and reiterated his ministry’s dedication to the various Paphos projects.