Government has not yet met with ANA to negotiate the new airport

José LuÃs Arnaut, president of the Board of Directors of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, stated this Tuesday in Parliament, in response to questions from deputies, that “there is no negotiation “or counterpart” is underway regarding the construction of the new airport in Alcochete, which the manager has said could cost more than seven billion euros.

“We haven’t even met yet [com o Governo] to start negotiating,” explained Arnaut. There is still a long process to go through, and one of the first steps to be taken is the creation of a technical committee to renegotiate the concession contract, which has not yet happened, he said. the former PSD deputy and now president of the ANA board of directors, during a hearing at the Economy, Public Works and Housing Commission, following a request from the PCP about the privatization of the concessionaire, in 2012, and the last ten years of management.

José LuÃs Arnaut explained to deputies that ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, sold to the French company Vinci, has 180 days to present a first plan and 24 months to develop it, which is why he refused to address the issue of the new airport, still without great evolution beyond the announcement of the location. “The deadlines are as set out in the law, but whatever can be faster will be faster,†he admitted.

There was also no major news about the expansion works at Humberto Delgado Airport, which will take place following the choice of the Alcochete Shooting Field as the location for the future airport. What works these will be still needs to be detailed. The government said it wants Lisbon’s capacity to increase to 45 movements per hour and for the airport to be expanded so that it can last at least another ten years, until Alcochete is operational.

More than 300 million investment on the table

Regarding investments in airports in the start-up phase, the president of the executive committee (CEO), Thierry Ligonnière, said that investments are planned in the airports of Lisbon, Porto and Madeira that will exceed 300 million of euros.

This sum includes more than 200 million euros to improve operations at AHD, where there will be an extension of terminal 1, another 50 million for Porto and 25 to 30 million in Madeira. The French manager argued that ANA has always made investments in Portuguese airports, but that these are not always visible to passengers, as is the case, for example, with investments in security, in strengthening the runway and parking capacity.

Thierry Ligonnière highlighted that there were investments, such as the extension of taxiway, a road that runs alongside the track, which were not completed because they would have required more space and would have involved the expropriation of land. “There are many investments being made that go beyond our obligations,†considered the ANA CEO.

The managers also informed the deputies that they did not carry out works at Lisbon airport during the Covid-19 period due to uncertainty about the future and the stoppage of economic activity, but that this decision was taken together with the Government previous report, by António Costa, pending further news on the location of the new airport.

“There were investments that were postponed taking into account the development model that was going to be carried out, whether it was [aeroporto] complementary or new airport”, explained José Luís Arnaut. But “it was agreed with the government,†he added.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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