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New Airport in 2050?

NEW AIRPORT IN 2050?Our government presented the general plans for a new airport in Lisbon. It accepted proposals by a Technical Committee who surveyed some options.

Very smart to move out the military terminal in Figo Maduro, to raise a third terminal! As I wrote in the book TRANSPORTES, the current airport has enough landing capacity, for many years though it has needed one more terminal.

Also, very smart to re-direct all small airplanes to the airport in Cascais, moving out the training planes. These two moves will expand passenger capacity by some 40%, which is enough for the coming 12 years. As the number of airplanes landing daily will raise by a few, but the number of passengers in each plane will raise a lot, both using empty seats, and the capacity of new planes.

There are still some issues to solve. The French monopoly for airports in Portugal should invest €9 billion in 9 years, as all of those changes should cost nothing to the government. This is a pipe-dream! What VINCI/ANA will do is to raise taxes, raising the cost of tickets and use €1 billion extra profits a year to keep the plans. ANA will say that such a construction may delay proceedings. If all runs as planned, it could end by 2050. Airlines have said they may move to competing cities if taxes rise.

Experts ignored that most growth in passengers to Lisbon is due to unusual situations, which may not continue: a) war in Ukraine, b) war in Gaza, c) young catholic event in Lisbon, d) forest fires in Greece, e) tension in Turkey, f) bad weather and forest fires in Canada. These situations will probably keep bringing tourists for the coming 3-5 years, until our competitors catch up.

Government expects cleaner fuels or hybrid less polluting jet-fuels to be used in the Lisbon region. This is a second pipe-dream! All such fuels are still ideas, no serious lab-tests delivered results to start a real-world test. Real in 2050? NGOs have been fighting for lower pollution in Lisbon. The climate disasters this and coming years will push for more such action. Many experts talk about the sound-pollution in Great-Lisbon.

Millions of portuguese and business passengers landing in Lisbon move on quickly to other areas, such as Fátima, Leiria and Coimbra. Why not invest €80 in expanding the run-way by 200m and a terminal in Giesteira, near Fatima, to receive airplanes such as the A320 and Boing, as proposed by the regional business associations?

Tourists and retiring couples, coming mainly to Lisbon, will start looking for a more genuine interior. The high-speed train planned for Lisbon-Madrid, passing Evora, could have a one-track short way to Beja.

Beja has excellent run-ways, it needs only a new terminal. It would be perfect for cargo and low-cost transit to Lisbon, as soon the train reaches its terminal. Works for 2-3 years, instead of 9 years. Costs for €130 million instead of €9 billion.


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