Lisbon airport is in desperate need of an 'upgrade' in various areas. It is well known for being one of the world's worst airport terminals - a dismal 'welcome' to a country that relies so heavily on tourism

Government increases pressure on ANA airports authority

Gives ANA 120 days to submit Lisbon airport upgrade plans 

The government has given the country’s airports manager, ANA, 120 days to present projects to fulfil specific development obligations at Lisbon airport, the work for which “must be completed by 2027”, according to a resolution published today in official government gazette Diário da República.

The resolution drawn up by the Council of Ministers determines “the adoption of a set of measures to mitigate operational constraints at Humberto Delgado Airport“, establishing that “within 120 days”, ANA must present “to the member of the government responsible for infrastructure (that being the prime minister until post-March elections) the projects relating to the fulfilment of specific development obligations”.

At issue is:

  • the “construction of fast runway exits – runway 03 (now 02)  
  • completion of Phase 2 of Fast Exit H2″, which, according to the concession contract signed in 2012, should have been carried out between 2018 and 2021 (but is now scheduled for 2026).
  • the obligation to build “multiple entrances on runway 21 (now 20)”, which was originally also due to be completed between 2018 and 2021, but which has now been given a new completion deadline of between 2025 and 2027, as well as the “expropriation of warehouses in the area of the multiple entrances on runway 21 (now 20)”, which was also due to be carried out between 2018 and 2021, and now has a new completion deadline of between 2024 and 2025.

On December 7, the Council of Ministers approved this resolution ordering ANA to carry out investments long overdue, with a view to mitigating operational constraints and passenger comfort.

Deputy secretary of state for infrastructure, Frederico Francisco, stressed “the government isn’t forcing ANA to do anything that it wasn’t already obliged to do, in the opinion of the grantor (State) and the civil aviation regulator (ANAC)”.

He also pointed out that, in order to give ANA the conditions to carry out these investments with as little disruption as possible, Figo Maduro aerodrome, which is attached to Lisbon airport, will be released from military use, subject to the start of an investment in the ‘South Pier’.

The resolution recalls that since the beginning of the contract with the Portuguese State, ANA has “more than doubled its turnover and almost quadrupled its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation)”, thus there should be no reason whatsoever not to move forwards with obligations. However, “the accumulated volume of investments, instead of keeping pace with the evolution of demand and the profitability of the concession, is 18.9% below that forecast by VINCI in the privatisation” (VINCI being ANA’s overall owner).

The government’s resolution comes into force tomorrow – and also stipulates that NAV Portugal (air traffic control) must complete the implementation of the “Point Merge” flight sequencing system by the third quarter of 2024.

With regard to the release of Figo Maduro aerodrome to non-military activity, a negotiating committee is to be set up with ANA to make the necessary changes to the airport public service concession contract, ensuring “the terms for the integration of the plot of land, which was the subject of the release order, from the military to the public domain”, including “the amount of compensation that ANA must give to the grantor (the State) for the resulting benefits”.

Until negotiations are finalised, a transitional solution will have to be established, allowing for the transfer of the management of Figo Madura and providing for a mechanism for the allocation of benefits by the airport manager to the State “that allows for the respective subsequent adjustment in relation to the final amount that will be determined within the scope of the negotiation”.

“The transitional solution is subject to the approval of the members of the government responsible for the areas of finance and infrastructure within a maximum period of six months after the setting up of the negotiating committee, with a view to drawing up a memorandum of understanding with ANA,” states the resolution.

Source: LUSA