Montijo airport plan blasted by Moita Council

 In Original

The public consultation period for the environmental impact study on government plans to turn Montijo airbase into a busy passenger terminal has ended, with Moita council — one of the councils affected by the plan — declaring that the risks involved are ‘just not worth it’.

This was followed by a joint statement released from environmental NGOs – GEOTA, LPN, FAPAS, SPEA and A Rocha – which say that the project “fails in every way when it comes to evaluating and mitigating its impact and proposing compensatory measures”. They also point out that the EIA violates “European directives, national legislation and commitments undertaken by the Portuguese government as part of international treaties”. Environmental association ZERO also joined the fray, highlighting several issues with the EIA. All the ‘old arguments’ are cited by Moita council and the NGOs, from the heightened risk of colli- sion with birds using the nearby marshland areas to excessive carbon emissions and the deterioration of life quality for the populations affected. Moita council also highlighted ‘risks to strategic assets of the borough’, including river navigability and effects on traditional boats of the Tejo which are in the process of bidding for UNESCO intangible heritage status. Earlier in the month, other councils which will be affected by the plan – Barreiro and Montijo, both held by PS Socialists – gave the thumbs-up to the EIA, saying they believed a new passenger terminal would “boost” the South bank area of Lisbon.
Nuno Lacasta, president of environmental agency APA that will ultimately decide whether or not to allow the project through, stressed he won’t be swayed by the government’s insistence that there is no Plan B.