The Association of Portuguese Hospitality (AHP) said it had received the airport solution for Lisbon with "optimism and expectation" and therefore regretted the "profound backlash" over the issue.
The Association of Portuguese Hospitality (AHP) on Monday regretted the “setback” registered in the airport solution for Lisbon and called on the government to find a quick and definitive solution, considering spending of “energy on back and forth” on this issue, “unacceptable”.
In a statement, the AHP said it had received the airport solution for Lisbon with “optimism and expectation” and therefore regretted the “profound backlash” over the issue and reiterated that it was “unacceptable” to “drag on with this situation after decades of debate; the waste of investment in tenders, studies and analyses; the inglorious waste of energy in advances and retreats”.
On Thursday last week, Prime Minister António Costa ordered the revocation of the ministry of infrastructures’ order that had been published the day before, which indicated the municipalities of Montijo and Alcochete as locations for the new airport solution for the Lisbon region.
The solution – and since revoked – was to immediately advance with studies to design a new airport in Montijo, complementary to Lisbon airport, to be operational by the end of 2026. The two airports would be in operation until the completion of the definitive airport at Campo de Tiro Alcochete, probably in 2035.
The president of the AHP, Bernardo Trindade, said this situation “is awful for the country”, as he believed that “the solution for Lisbon Airport is long overdue, very urgent in the short term!”
The AHP president said that “Lisbon’s lack of airport capacity affects the whole country, not just the Lisbon region, so an immediate decision, whatever it may be, is structural, ” especially when the country is recovering from the pandemic. There are “moments of geopolitical instability”.
This lack of definition about the future of the solution, Bernardo Trindade said, “brings, for now, problems in the immediate term, but also in the medium and long term that must be resolved”.
“All the solutions that have now been found will only bring benefits to Portugal in a few years, and it is essential that work is carried out at Lisbon airport to increase the number of parking spaces, improve ground traffic with an increase in the number of movements, all linked to more effective monitoring of air space,” he said.
Bernardo Trindade believes, however, that there is a “will to take decisions, despite the “background noise definitively”.
In this context, AHP appeals to “the government and other stakeholders that, despite this setback, do not lose focus and work quickly to find a definitive airport solution, for the good of Portugal and the country’s image,” considering that “there is no longer any margin to postpone a decision that is strategic for Portugal.