The Portuguese Government and the French multinational Da Vinci -concessionaire of the country's airports- have signed an agreement to extend the slopes of Lisbon and create one more on the other side of the river, not before 2022. The total investment will be 1,300 million euros.
The biggest brake for the tourist and export expansion of Portugal sHe calls Humberto Delgado (official name of Lisbon airport), a collapsed facility with many enlargement problems because it is located in the center of the city. For decades the different governments have been postponing the problem and the French concessionaire Da Vinci also did not facilitate the renewal, determined to optimize its benefits.
In 2012, Da Vinci won the privatization contest of ANA (National Association of Airports) paying 3,080 million euros for the concession for 50 years of all the country's civil airports. In this time he has doubled the fees for his services. If in 2012 the Lisbon airport had 15 million passengers, now they are approaching 30 million, a figure that forces, by contract, Da Vinci to pay for a new installation.
The French multinational will allocate 650 million euros to improve the facilities of the first national airport and 500 million to the new one in Montijo, on the other side of the Tagus River. Your investment is in exchange for government authorization to increase rates to airlines, which will no longer rise based on traffic but the investment made. Da Vinci is committed to investing 421 million more before the end of the concession, in 2062.
The new installation – after years of debate about its location – was born with the criticism of the PCP, partner of the Government. "That's not going to be an airport," he said. the general secretary of the PC, Jerónimo de Sousa. "It will be a halt for the benefit of a large economic group, Da Vinci, which will become a small airport, when what the country needs is a bigger one, in a perspective of economic development."
Montijo is not a new airport, but the civil retrofit of a military air base. "It is a quick, easy and cheap solution", has defended the Minister of Infrastructures, Pedro Marques, on the TSF radio station. "It will allow to duplicate the airport capacity of the Lisbon region". With a saturated airport like the one in Lisbon, the Government's priority is that investments are already made in it so that its effects begin to be noticed immediately. In fact, the Montijo protocol is signed without having the environmental impact study, what has been reported to the European institutions by the Zero organization.
According to the agreement between the Government and Da Vinci, the projection is that in 40 years, Lisbon and Montijo will receive 52 million passengers, only 10 of them in the new one. Montijo will be destined to the flights point to point, without transhipments, with the unique exception of the line of flag TAP, that will have all its flights in the main one of Humberto Delgado. The rates will be 80% cheaper in Montijo, so it will be the preferred track for low cost companies. The reform of the military airport will have a fluvial transport service with the capital, although the main communication channel will be the Vasco de Gama bridge.