New international airport on cards for Lisbon

LISBON COULD have a second airport to service low cost airlines by 2010. The Secretary of State for Tourism, Bernardo Trindade, believes it would not only create new jobs, but lower airport taxes would encourage more holidaymakers into Lisbon.

During the 1990s, there had been speculation that Portela airport would have reached its capacity by 2010, with a project for a new out-of-city airport at Orta in time for Euro 2004. However, it was decided to revamp the existing airport with plans to extend the metro directly into the terminal.

For years, concerns have been voiced that a major international airport right in the middle of the capital posed a risk, following a number of aviation disasters in built up areas.

The new airport is likely to be created from one of the existing airports outside Lisbon, which are used as military airports, such as the Montijo Air Base.

Welcoming the initiative currently being studied, Luís Alves de Sousa, president of the Portuguese Hotel Association, said: “We need a completely new airport to replace Portela, one fit for the 21st century.” Comandante Sousa Monteiro of Civil Aviation believes that none of the military airports “have the right conditions or adequate space to support a new civil airport”. C.G.