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Indecisions over airport location

THE PRESIDENT of the National Civil Engineering Laboratory (LNEC) has been handed six detailed reports from government-appointed commissions into the location for Lisbon’s new international airport.

The six reports detail the advantages and disadvantages of placing the airport at both Ota and the shooting range at Alcochete on the south bank of the River Tejo.

From a financial standpoint, and one which pleases the Ministry of Finance, the cheapest option, according to the reports, is Alcochete, although that option is not as cheap as was initially thought because of the additional costs of a new bridge or tunnel and road/ rail transport lines.

However, Ota also has several advantages, including geographical and economic ones and its proximity to greater numbers of people. Ota takes the preference of the ministries of the Environment and Economy.

The current debate over TGV and road infrastructure access is the main stumbling block to locating the airport at Alcochete since it would require a new bridge or tunnel under the Tejo to access the site which would push up costs considerably.

On the other hand, it would be far easier and cheaper to manage the air space in terms of air traffic control at Alcochete than Ota while geologically speaking Alcochete also wins out over Ota since the latter suffers from water-logging and flooding during the winter months.

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