The chairman of the Portuguese airports management company ANA, José Luís Arnaut, said last week that works on the project for a new Lisbon secondary international airport on the south bank of the River Tagus at Montijo could begin in the spring of 2021.
The ANA boss said the project for the new airport is “imminent” and that ANA would be delivering a dossier to the regulator shortly, with all the legal studies and reports which argue that local council powers to turn down the airport plan have no justification in law.
Speaking at a webinar, José Luís Arnaut said last Thursday (December 17) that the airports management company “is entirely open to start works at Montijo”.
At the webinar ‘Can there be recovery without air transport?’ organised by Jornal Económico and the consultants BDC, the ANA boss said: “Montijo is imminently on the cards,” stressing that the project is “important for kick-starting the economy”.
“We have taken the opportunity of drawing up an ‘early contract’ with a Portuguese construction company and are prepared to bring in the caterpillars to work in April,” he said.
“We want to build Montijo because we believe, without using taxpayers’ money, that it is important that by 2025-2026 we have a new airport up and running to avoid the constraints that were suffered in 2019.”
Arnaut said: “We are here to invest despite the economic adversities and the low passenger and flight numbers today at Portugal’s airports,” adding that he knew there were “obstacles from some municipal councils for political reasons” to developing the new airport, as is the case with the municipalities of Moita and Seixal.
José Luís Arnaut insisted that ANA would “present the dossier to the Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) soon,” which would include legal reports from professors of Portuguese republic law arguing that local municipal councils cannot block a project of national interest for reasons that are not of a national interest.
“We make an appeal to public entities, the government and ANAC and to those who have responsibilities for the future wellbeing of the country do not obstruct (the project) so that in 2025-2026 we can foster the growth of the economy and the country.”
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