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Rising airport passenger numbers - trouble ahead for Lisbon

airplaneThe ten airports in Portugal managed by French company, VINCI Airports, logged 10.4 million passengers in the first three months of this year, an increase of 12% on the same period in 2017.
Vinci stated that this growth "reflects, in particular, the good performance of the five leading airlines operating in Portugal, all with double-digit growth."
In the first quarter, Lisbon airport, "further reinforced its position as an international hub with traffic increasing by 15.9%," says Vinci Airports, fully aware of the looming problems this coming summer as Humberto Delgado airport reaches capacity with no second Lisbon airport to take the strain.
Porto’s airport handled over 10 million passengers last year, an overall growth of 12%, at the recently remodelled Faro airport passenger traffic remained stable and Madeira’s numbers grew only 2.4%, which Vinci puts down to the bankruptcy of Monarch and Air Berlin in 2017.
As for Lisbon’s capacity problem, progress has been made with the commissioning of an environmental impact study for the Montijo military air base. This is “almost ready” and can be put out to the public consultation stage in April with a government decision feasible in the second half of 2018.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed last February with ANA, establishes the calendar for the expansion of airport capacity in the Lisbon region.
A timetable for change, signed in February last year, "aims to develop a concrete solution consisting of the expansion of Humberto Delgado Airport and the installation of a complementary infrastructure in the current Air Base No. 6 in Montijo, since, in the studies developed, it proved to be the most efficient and sustained in operational and economic terms and the only one capable of meeting capacity requirements in a timely manner."
‘Developing a concrete solution’ is not this government’s strong suit and the 2022 'at earliest' opening of Montijo remains entirely theoretical unless the executive gets a grip.