TAP wants decision on new airport

 In New Airport, News, TAP

The CEO of Portuguese airline TAP, Christine Ourmières-Widener said that it is crucial that the government reaches a decision about the site of a new international airport for the Lisbon region.

“We’d like to see a decision on the new airport because the infrastructure we’re dealing with today has some limitations, and we’ll support any decision. A decision is of key importance for the future of TAP, but also for the future of Portugal”, she said on Sunday”.
Christine Ourmières-Widener clarified the company’s position in statements to journalists during a special flight to Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the South Atlantic Air Crossing. The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was also on board.
The TAP CEO said that the special commercial flight was “a celebration of a great achievement by the Portuguese Discoverers. “Brazil is our main market outside Portugal, which is also why this flight is so important”, she stressed.
The discussions over a new international airport for Lisbon has been raging since the 1960s, and has been a dossier on the tables of many ministers of Public Works and/or Infrastructure. Around 24 different sites have been considered. The sites over the past 15 years have included Rio Frio, Ota, Alverca, Montijo and Alcochete.
Over the past decade one solution was the expansion of Portela (Humberto Delgado) and the construction of a secondary airport at Montijo on a site which today is occupied by an airforce base.
However, the option was opposed by the municipal councils of Moita and Seixal under a legal prerogative.
The law needed to be changed by parliament in order for it to get passed and the opposition centre-right PSD party demanded a Strategic Environmental Study to look at the various options. This process was effectively stalled on Wednesday last week after the current Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, unilaterally announced that two airports would be built: Montijo and Alcochete.
A contract signed on 9 January with the airports concessionaire ANA Portugal foresaw an investment of €1.15Bn, with €650 million for the first phase of the extension of the current Lisbon airport to the Figo Maduro airbase, to which €156 million would be added to compensate the Air Force and improve the road accesses to Humberto Delgado, and the future Montijo Airport. For Montijo the cost would be €500 million.
The other possibility is to have Montijo as the main airport and Humberto Delgado as the secondary airport. The estimated costs of this solution have not been made public, but there is a high possibility that it might be rejected on environmental grounds.
A third option is to have Alcochete as the main airport costing anywhere between €5Bn and €7.6Bn and built on the site of a firing range. (Campo de Tiro)