The government’s insistence on pushing ahead with a controversial new passenger airport south of Lisbon at Montijo will now involve changing the law so that civil aviation authority ANAC can legally give its approval.
The tortuous process of getting all permissions sorted in order to start building work hit another chicane this week when TSF radio revealed that ANAC, by law, cannot give the green-light needed because five municipalities which will be directly affected by aircraft flying in and out are against the plan.
Moita, Seixal, Sesimbra, Palmela and Setúbal have all given the new passenger terminal the thumbs down.
By law, the objections lodged by Moita and Seixal (being the municipalities closest to the Montijo site) should be enough to scupper the project.
But infrastructures minister Pedro Nuno Santos has told parliament that the situation “obviously” means the government has to force through new legislation.
He said that it is “absolutely incomprehensible that the mayor of Moita can veto an opportunity that affects the country”.
Nuno Santos’ mantra throughout this struggle is that the government “doesn’t have the time or money” to consider a Plan B – even though so many entities have trashed the plan on the basis that it is supremely unsafe, terminally short-sighted – and will ultimately destroy precious environmental heritage forever (click here).
The fireworks continue, with the mayors of Moita and Seixal now railing that the government is prepared to trample over everyone and everything to push through a project that not only doesn’t please a number of carriers, cannot even accommodate large airplanes (click here).