If there were ever a concrete argument for a new Lisbon international airport, the latest figures for passenger footfall at Humberto Delgado was it.
Humberto Delgado airport will hit a new high in terms of passenger numbers by the end of the year, with the Portuguese airports management company ANA estimating 34 million – an increase of 10% on 2019 when that figure stood at 31.1 million.
The forecast in demand expected to be reached by the end of the year comes from ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, – published by the business daily Negócios – which as far back as 2017 stated that Lisbon airport had met all of the four capacity factors to warrant the construction of a new airport.
The contract between the State and the concessionaire agreed to the need for a new airport if three out of four capacity factors foreseen – one of them being total passenger numbers of over 22 million – had been met.
The 34 million passengers likely to be registered for 2023 means that the number set to warrant a solution for increased airport capacity in the Portuguese capital had been more than met by an additional 55%.
Only in 2020 and 2021 has the target to justify a new airport not been met over the past seven years and that was because of the pandemic.
Alcochete has been chosen as the most favourable site for a new airport by the independent commission appointed by the government (Independent Technical Commission), but the President of the Economists Association, and former Public Works and Transport minister, António Mendonça, regretted that the study had not taken into consideration new infrastructures such as road and rail, and that ANA had the final say on which option should be chosen, as well as TAP not having been taken into account for a future hub.
On the question of ANA, Mendonça said: “These discussions make no sense for a project that is of strategic interest for the country and should not be dependent on a concessionaire company for such an important issue, no matter how important that company might be.”
Source: Essential Business