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Lisbon airport is "an embarrassment" says Prime Minister

airplanePrime Minister António Costa said that he believes there is "a new national consensus" of regret at not having gone ahead with a new international airport to ease the increasing burden on Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado.
 
The PM said 'we' are trying to make up for lost time and need a new international airport with the capacity to respond to increasing tourism levels.
 
On Thursday, the Minister of Planning and Infrastructure, Pedro Marquês, downplayed the findings of a report on the environmental impacts in the construction of a civil airport at the Montijo Air Force base, noting that the concerns expressed in the report can be mitigated.
 
Last Wednesday, May 9th, a report from Jornal de Negócios reported that an Environmental Impact Study for the future airport of Montijo makes the project feasible, although there are impacts on local fauna and flora and the suggestion of a set of compensatory measures. The study will be evaluated by the Portuguese Environment Agency and will be in public consultation for 40 days.
 
It is expected that the work of the new airport will start next year, with completion scheduled for 2022. The budget should exceed €300 million.
 
The minister expressed confidence in the success of the project, stressing that the Montijo option, "is the best option."
 
"This report did not bring any surprises. It is an infrastructure that already serves as a military airstrip and that, in this case, will have a change in use to be used by civilians," said the official.
 
Regarding the warnings and suggestions in the environmental study, Pedro Marquês said only that the impacts pointed out, "are limited and capable of being mitigated."
 
The minister added that the airport concessionaire, ANA, already has submitted this report to the Portuguese Environment Agency, which will be responsible for issuing a final opinion on the environmental impacts.
 
"This is a process of evaluation and public consultation and hopefully, by the end of the year, the Portuguese Environment Agency can issue a favourable environmental impact statement," said the minister, thereby applying political pressure on those that must make the decision.
 
For the prime minister, the Montijo option, "is the most efficient" and the one that will best serve the region of Lisbon and the country, referring to the current overcrowding at Lisbon airport as “embarrassing.”
 
ZERO, the environmental organisation, argues that any choice for a new airport should be subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment, more comprehensive than the Environmental Impact Assessment, and has requested the intervention of the European Commission.

ZERO already has voiced strong doubts regarding the issues of land planning, noise and interference with and from, bird life.
 
"ZERO has strong doubts about the impact of noise on the population, nature conservation in the Tagus Estuary, as well as risks to aircraft," reads the association’s statement.

Comments  

0 #1 Peter Booker 2018-05-14 07:23
It is difficult to find fault with Costa´s pronouncements, but why has it taken him so long to make them? Humberto Delgado has been horribly overcrowded for years, and a visit to this airport is an unpleasant experience. The studies of which they speak so confidently have all been done before, and are to be done again.

I agree with ZERO that wildlife in the Straw Sea will be adversely affected; but if they do not refashion Montijo airbase into an airport, where will they put the new one?
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