The Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, considers that there are only two hypotheses regarding the process of the new Lisbon airport, planned for Montijo: either it is approved or the alternative in Alcochete will have brutal costs for the country. , in terms of investment and infrastructure construction times, but also in terms of revenue loss, particularly in the tourism sector.
In an interview with RTP 3's 'Tudo É Economia' television show yesterday, September 9th at night, Pedro Nuno Santos acknowledged that the debate about the new airport in the capital is, “from an economic point of view, very relevant”.
“We have, there is a process going on at APA [Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente], which is an independent agency. ANA delivered an environmental impact study. It is currently in the public discussion phase. [que termina a 19 de Setembro próximo] and we will soon have the environmental impact statement or not. Therefore, if we have the environmental impact statement, obviously, we will start with the works in Montijo ”, assured the minister.
Pedro Nuno Santos criticized: “the country has been discussing the location for decades [do novo aeroporto de Lisboa] and to postpone a structuring investment for our country. ”
“We have no right, if I may say so, to delay further. We are currently at Humberto Delgado airport saturated. From this year, we will have rejected flights, because the airport can not. This means that we are, because we failed to make the investment at the time it was needed, because of the political debate, because of the need to fight and defeat the adversary, we are going to start losing tourists today. We lost tourists, we lost tourism revenues, we lost exports, we lost jobs. We lost money, ”warned the Minister of Infrastructure.
Asked about the absence of a 'Plan B' if there is no positive environmental impact statement about the new airport in Montijo, as he suggested several days ago António Costa, Pedro Nuno Sntos explained that “what the Prime Minister meant is that if we are not allowed to move with the airport in Montijo, the country will have a brutal, astronomical payment. ”
“For two reasons. Not only because we at Montijo airport were going to expand the [aeroporto] Humberto Delgado, and Montijo Airport. We had Montijo airport built in four years. Even so, we will already miss flights, we will already have a cost for not having done it before. Any other decision that the country is forced to make will not only delay even further, and therefore we will have a cost for the tourists that we will no longer be able to receive in the country, namely tourists, but not only tourists, obviously not only the tourists who use the airports – let's not only stop having these revenues, but we'll have to spend a lot more, ”said the Minister of Infrastructure.
Pedro Nuno Santos added that “just to understand what we are talking about, between the expansion of Humberto Delgado and Montijo is 1.500 million euros [de investimento]"
“If we had to make an airport in Alcochete, it would be seven billion euros. While Montijo Airport was four years old [para construir], Alcochete airport was ten years old. Between the expansion of Humberto Delgado and Montijo we will be over 30 years old, the forecasts are for another 30 years of capacity, more or less. We are building a solution that is made with two airports, one on each bank of the Tagus River, which will meet the needs of the country for decades to come, ”said the official.
Regarding the 'white elephant' that Beja airport became, Pedro Nuno Santos admitted that “we have a Beja airport with little or no activity”, while remembering that “we have many airports in Spain that are flying. "
“Beja Airport was an investment made by the country to help develop a region [Alentejo]”, Defended Pedro Nuno Santos, guaranteeing that this infrastructure“ would never be an alternative to any airport in Lisbon because it would not be competitive at this level ”.
“We have to look with the Alentejo region, find the possibility of boosting that airport. It is not easy, it is not easy and it is also important that we do not get used to feeding facilities when they do not exist in that case. An investment has been made, we must all see together how we can monetize, but it is not easy, ”acknowledged the Minister of Infrastructure.
Pedro Nuno Santos also revealed that "Montijo airport is having the side effect of diverting some Air Force activities to the Beja region, to Beja, and this will bring some economic activity to the region."
"But of course we want more and that will require us to be able to work together with the mayors of the region," said the Minister of Infrastructure.