Aviation authority warns of ‘urgent’ need to expand airport capacity

  • Lusa
  • 13 October 2021

"It is urgent to find a solution for airport expansion in the Lisbon region," the president of the country's National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) said in a speech at the Portugal Air Summit.

The president of Portugal’s National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), Luis Ribeiro, warned on Wednesday that it was “urgent” to find a definitive solution for airport expansion in the Lisbon region, stressing that this “can no longer” be postponed.

“It is urgent to find a solution for airport expansion in the Lisbon region,” he said in a speech at the Portugal Air Summit, which began on Wednesday at the Ponte de Sor Municipal Aerodrome in Portalegre district.

ANAC, he said, “will contribute” with its “experience and technical knowledge” in discussions about the project, which he said was “structural for the country and can no longer be postponed” without major consequences.

“ANAC will participate in the strategic assessment process launched by the government and will contribute its experience and technical knowledge in the discussions that will follow, assuming its responsibilities as a regulatory body,” he said.

One of the “fundamental” issues that should be “analysed” in this context, he stressed, relates to the “capacity and characteristics” that a new airport will need to incorporate in order to “accommodate” the requirements of a whole new generation of aircraft powered by hydrogen or green fuels that are sure to enter service over the next decade.

At the same event, Portugal’s minister for infrastructure and housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, criticised the “stop-start” process in Portugal in recent decades regarding the location of a new airport for Lisbon, warning that the country has “no time to waste”.

There are currently three hypotheses on the table: the existing Humberto Delgado Airport remaining as Lisbon’s main facility, complemented by a new airport at Montijo, south of the River Tagus; Montijo as a new main airport, with Humberto Delgado complementing it, and an entirely new major airport located in Alcochete, also on the south bank, on a site that is currently a military shooting range.