Environmental NGO, Zero, sues state environment agency over new airport location

  • Lusa
  • 8 March 2019

A Portuguese NGO, Zero, filed a lawsuit against the Portuguese Environment Agency, demanding they should execute a proper environmental assessment of the new airport location.

Portuguese environmental NGO Zero has filed a lawsuit against the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) demanding a strategic assessment of the new airport location in Montijo, it announced on Friday.

According to the NGO’s statement, the location has been chosen without a proper strategic environmental assessment.

Instead, the Portuguese authorities only conducted an environmental impact assessment.

The sponsoring company and Portuguese airport operator ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, which is owned by Vinci, has presented an environmental impact assessment to APA but soon after withdrawn it, promising to give it back by the end of March.

National and Community laws impose a strategic assessment to enable “long term strategic planning”, NGO Zero highlighted.

“We hope this lawsuit will ensure there is a deep and transparent evaluation of the best options because this decision will have a major impact in the country over the next decades”, it added.

Zero considered that both locating the new airport at an air base in Montijo, on the south bank of the Tagus, and boosting the capacity of the main Lisbon airport will have major impacts on transport, economic activities, tourism and demographics, particularly in and around Lisbon.

Moreover, the increased traffic will have a serious impact on the environment, affecting public health due to noise and air pollution.

For those reasons, the NGO Zero has required an assessment of all the possible locations for the new airport by comparing the long-term cost-benefit relation.

The Portuguese state and the sponsoring company signed an agreement on January 8 which foresees a €1.15 billion investment up to 2028 to boost the capacity at Lisbon’s main airport and transform the Montijo air base.