Call for airport for central Portugal
Coimbra City Council is to hand the Government two studies for the expansion of an aerodrome into a regional airport.
The airport, which would be funded by several councils, would serve Coimbra-Leiria-Fátima. The cost of the regional airport, which would not impact the State budget or national tax payers, would be funded by the local councils involved and funding from the next tranche of EU community funds 2030.
The project would involve the conversion of the municipal aerodrome of Coimbra Bissaya Barreto at a cost of €12 million. The University of Coimbra is currently undertaking a study for the project which would enable the present runway to be extended from 920 metres to 1,400 metres.
The current aerodrome costs €500,000 per annum to run and maintain but has almost zero profitability.
The idea for an airport in Coimbra was also defended by the National Association of Municipal Councils during the last local and regional elections.
The other project on the table is to build a new airport that would serve the three cities Coimbra, Fatíma and Leiria.
In this second case, the study was commissioned by a team that forms part of Conprojur, headed by Manuel Queiró, a former CDS-PP party MP. The 19 municipal councils in the region are said to be “favourable to this idea” despite nothing having been decided. The project would require a larger runway , cover more land and be developed over two phases.