45% of people support Alcochete site for new Lisbon airport says survey

 In Infrastructure, New Airport, News

A survey carried out by Intercampus shows that 45% of those canvassed think that the site chosen for Lisbon’s new international airport at Alcochete is the best option.

And although not an overwhelming majority, the location at the former armed forces shooting range around 45km from Lisbon has more supporters than detractors.

The latest barometer from Intercampus commissioned by business daily Negócios, Correio da Manhã and CMTV shows that 45% of those surveyed were happy with the decision taken by the Prime Minister, compared to 30.3%.

However, the barometer makes it clear that the topic has created a lot of indecision since 24.7% of those surveyed said they didn’t know which was the best site, or preferred not to give an opinion.

Men were more certain than women, taking into account that 49.3% agreed with the new location against 31.6% while male non-respondents stood at 19.1%. As to women, those undecided climbed to 29-7% with 41.1% in favour and 29.1% against.

In terms of age, it is clear that there was greater agreement among 35-54 (43.6%) and over 55 age groups (49.6%).

Among younger people quizzed for the survey, this percentage in favour of Alcochete fell to 38%.

The decision taken by the government to follow the recommendation from an independent technical commission was announced on 14 May. The new airport has been christened Luís de Camões.

The airport will have two runways with a capacity for 90 to 95 takeoffs/landings per hour, with the possibility of adding a further two runways with passenger number projections of 100 million per annum by 2050.

The first runway will cost an estimated €3.2Bn and should be completed in 2030. The second runway will cost €2.9Bn and should be ready in 2031. In total, the two phases have been costed at €6.1Bn.

The government says that it will eventually be the region’s sole airport when fully completed and operational with the current Humberto International Airport being gradually phased out to 2031.

Until the new airport fully comes on line, the government will continue to invest in increasing the capacity at Humberto Delgado airport. Why after investing so much money improving and modernising the airport in recent years it will be scrapped within a decade is not clear, even less so as to why the government has decided not to retain the existing airport as a secondary infrastructure for low cost and internal flights.