The Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas, wants a new airport on the Portuguese capital to help cope with the recovery of tourism.
1. Airport queues
Moedas’ declarations came as a response to concerns raised by the president of the Hotel Association of Portugal (AHP), Bernardo Trindade, who warned that hotels could lose customers due to delays in the construction process of the new airport.
We need an airport now. If it is somewhere or other, that should be a technical decision, but the airport has to go ahead for the good of everyone.Carlos Moedas, during an event promoted by (AHP)
Moedas also expressed concerns regarding the lack of staff at the immigration and borders service — SEF — at Humberto Delgado Airport, a situation that generates queues of three or four hours to enter Lisbon.
You can have the best hotels, the best companies in the world, but if people are waiting three or four hours to get into Lisbon, those people are not coming back. It is our responsibility to alert the government and get it resolved quickly. We cannot have the airport in these conditions which are shameful for any foreigner who arrives.Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon
As a response, SEF revealed that it is preparing a plan for the border posts at airports during the period of greatest flow of passengers, between July and September.
2. Environmental assessment
Trindade’s concerns come after the public tender for the strategic environmental assessment of the future airport solution has been launched. The international public tender was launched by the government in October 2021.
At that time, prior to a snap election that slightly changed the government’s composition, the then assistant secretary of state for communications, Hugo Santos Mendes, said that the strategic environmental assessment of the three possible locations for the new Lisbon airport should be delivered in 2023.
There are currently three options for the construction of a new airport: Humberto Delgado airport (main), with Montijo airport (complementary); Montijo airport (main), with Humberto Delgado airport (complementary); and an infrastructure located at the Alcochete shooting range.
Despite the talks to move on with the new airport, there are critic views about the subject: “If we move Lisbon’s airport capacity from the current 35 million to 50 million passengers, where will we fit more people in tourist areas? People complain about traffic, noise and demographic saturation. Do we accentuate the problem to the point of xenophobia against tourists?” asked the journalist Daniel Deusdado.