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The New Lisbon Airport

THE NEW LISBON AIRPORTA technical group surveyed a few locations for the new Lisbon airport. This issue has been going on for some 30 years, there are dozens of surveys, many insisting on investments around €7-9 billion.

Three real experts, with no connections to parties nor ministers, wrote a book citing hundreds of surveys, researching new techniques, which was summarized in a very detailed book, TRANSPORTES - Novos Caminhos para Crescer, after lots of research and talking to operators.

There, those consultants, each in his own area, airplanes/airports, trains, investments/ tourism/air-cargo, proposed an immediate second passenger terminal for Lisbon (which was built) and a large new passenger terminal for Beja, with a Light-Alfa train, which travels at 275km/h, alternating directly to Entrecampos, in Lisbon, and another with two tops in the way.

Using existing rails only adding some €150 million for extending a line to Beja and €100 for a terminal, the runway of 3,450m could be used both for the heaviest passenger and air-cargo planes, such as the Tupolev. Proposed alternatives, Montijo or Vendas Novas, are not that long.

The group proposed a TGV which would take passengers to Lisbon in 24 mins, but they did not write how much it would cost, nor how much energy it will use. For more than 20 years Alstom is trying to sell those TGV to countries such as Brazil, France, UK, none want them. In both Japan and Germany their public or private corporations reduced max-speed to around 280-290km/h, as the power consumption makes them too expensive. And TGV needs special railways, which cost around eight times more than extending existing ones, used by Light-Alfa.

Air-cargo corporations say such a hub in Beja is excellent for goods coming from Central and South-America and South-African countries in large aircrafts, then moving to smaller ones reaching final destinations in some 60 European airports within 20 hours of departure. As Beja could run 24h/day, those huge cargo-airplanes could reach Beja around 1am, when no passenger traffic needs it and smaller airplanes leave early in the morning, reaching final destinations around 9 am.

With private financing, the proposed €8 billion, operators would take huge taxes to compensate high interest-rates and risks for low-cost using other alternatives.

Why do governments in Portugal choose €8 billion instead of €250 million?

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