Portugal’s French-owned airports operator, ANA, claims already to have delivered all the documentation necessary to turn the Montijo Air Force base into a commercial civil airport – “only government approval is lacking,” said João Nunes, ANA’s director of Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado airport.
“From ANA, everything to do with the project that was needed, has been done. There were some pending issues to do with environmental studies, but these also have been delivered,” Nunes told reporters during the presentation of a new check-in area at the current Lisbon Airport, adding that the government has all the necessary elements “to enable decision-making.”
As for when the decision will be made and Montijo converted to an overspill airport handling low-cost air operators’ flights, João Nunes expects a “final position” to be taken during the second half of 2018 and claims to believe that if the decision comes within this deadline, flights will be landing at Montijo in four years time – “as early as 2022.”
This will be not a moment too soon as Nunes agrees that the infrastructure at Humberto Delgado airport, “is close to the limit of its capacity” and the Montijo solution will enable supply to catch up with demand.
Despite agreeing that the airport is bursting with passengers, João Nunes also believes that this summer there will be no problems and that he has the required capacity.
One plus point is ANA’s investment of €11 million in a 30-long bank of automatic check-in and baggage machines.
These are, “responding to an urgent need,” said Nunes, adding that the investment allows Lisbon airport to enter a “new stage of growth” while showing the airport has modern infrastructure, as the new check-in machines area is state-of-the-art.
The new check-ins allow passenger to register their bags and print luggage tags, in a process that João Nunes considers to be, “very intuitive,” with the machines already being used by customers.
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