“It’s a bad solution.” Experts challenge government and VINCI to show documents on new Montijo airport
Experts ask ANA and the Government to demonstrate that the Montijo option is cheaper than Alcochete
A former chairman of the board of engineers, an aerodrome engineer and an airport consultant on Monday challenged the government and VINCI to show the documents that justify the decision to build the new airport in Montijo rather than Alcochete.
“I challenge ANA/VINCI [Lisbon airport concessionaire] to prove that the `Aeroporto Humberto Delgado [AHD] + Montijo’ solution, which is not validated from an environmental point of view, is cheaper than the construction of the New Lisbon Airport [NAL] at the Alcochete Shooting Range [CTA], where the `hub’ goes there,” Carlos Matias Ramos, former president of the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC) (2005-2010) told Lusa news agency.
The Lisbon Airport – Strategic Perspective of National Interest’ is the title of the document signed by the former president of LNEC Carlos Matias Ramos, the Aerodrome engineer Carlos Brás and the airport consultant, researcher at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and former framework of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal Victor Rocha.
For the former president of LNEC, the document, which was released today by the Civic Platform BA6 No! – which opposes the construction of a complementary airport to the Humberto Delgado Airport in Montijo – intends to alert to what he says is a “dogma” about the location of a complementary airport to Lisbon at the Montijo Air Base.
“Right now the country is witnessing a dogma, in which it is said that Montijo is cheaper. This is a dogma. Does anyone know of any document in which this is said, in a technical way, supported by costs and comparative analyses? I don’t. And I have asked for it”, Carlos Matias Ramos told Lusa news agency, reiterating his request to ANA and the Government to demonstrate that the option for Montijo is cheaper than the phased construction of the New Lisbon Airport (NAL) in Alcochete.
Convinced that “intelligence and knowledge” will end up overriding alleged external factors, which have nothing to do with national interest, Carlos Matias Ramos recalled that the Council of Ministers resolution that decided for the construction of the NAL in Alcochete “has not yet been revoked”.
In addition, he added, “there is a Regional Plan for Spatial Planning of the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon (PROT-AML) – the latest version is from 2011 – in which the construction of the new Lisbon airport at CTA and the third crossing of the Tagus River in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon is enshrined.
“Everything has now been called into question. With values, with sustained situations? No. It is by `feeling’, or else by influences, which are not exactly in the public interest. I say this very clearly, I have no problem saying it. Show me the documents that prove that the Montijo solution is good”, challenged, once again, the former president of LNEC
“Montijo is a bad solution, it’s terrible. It makes no sense and is a strategic error for the future of the country”, stressed the former president of LNEC.
In the document, to which Lusa had access, the signatories argue that the airport should leave Lisbon, guarantee that the current Humberto Delgado Airport (AHD) will never be the hub that the city of Lisbon, the country and TAP need, and consider that it is “urgent to make the right decision”.
The signatories also maintain that the Environmental Impact Declaration (DIA) for the construction of the new airport at CTA “expired in December 2020, because ANA has not taken the necessary steps with the Portuguese Environment Agency [APA] to renew it”, but they recall that the “airport’s location zone at CTA has not changed significantly since December 2020”.
“My sorrow is knowing that there is intelligence capacity in the country and that it is being demobilized, due to factors that are external to the knowledge. And the decisions are made a little `ad-hoc’ and casuistic,” said Carlos Matias Ramos, reiterating the idea that the choice of Montijo is a “terrible” solution for the country.
“Our document is a challenge to reflection. A challenge not to take decisions that are not based on a technical, financial, economic, environmental, land-use planning, aeronautical safety analysis, and, fundamentally, with a perspective of the future. We don’t want things that are patches, we want things that have a future logic”, concluded Carlos Matias Ramos.
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