Minister comes clean over Montijo airport delay
The Minister of Planning and Infrastructure has admitted the Montijo airport project is in a mess.
Stating that the government is in negotiations with the French-owned airports concession holder, Vinci Group, Pedro Marquês hopes these will be concluded “later this year” – which can be anything from tomorrow until December 31st.
The minister says there are two key problems: the urgent need for the new airport and the fact that when ANA was privatised, nobody thought to ensure it was commissioned to build the new airport as part of the deal.
As for timings, “This is far behind schedule, in the sense that the new airport has been under discussion in Portugal for decades. Today we know that this airport is reaching its limits, and therefore we started this process very late, we must move very fast and it has to be an urgent and at the same time sustainable solution that allows for a significant growth of passenger transport.”
ANA has already stated that a speedy build would still take three years and is in no hurry at all to take the pressure off Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado airport where the company reports good profits.
According to the minister, ANA, “only had the right to present a proposal to the government for the construction of a second Lisbon airport and is under no obligation to build that airport.”
Thus, admits Marquês, the government is in a poor negotiating position, “but we are doing everything to fully ensure the public interest, to ensure that we quickly have a new airport infrastructure in the Lisbon area.”
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