Poland approves plans for a huge central airport to take 100 million annual passengers (x3 current number for the country)
The New Central Polish Airport is a proposed airport to be developed on a site between Lodz and Warsaw. The project has been subject of debate since 2006. However, the Polish government is expected to commence construction in 2017. The airport is expected become the hub of LOT Polish Airlines. Preparatory works are scheduled for completion by the end of 2019, while the airport is scheduled to open in 2027 and aims to cater for 100 million passengers per year (there are about 34 million Polish air passengers now). The government hopes the nation’s air traffic will reach 94 million by 2035. The decision to build this airport reverses a strategy based on expanding smaller regional ports with the help of funds provided by the European Union. Poland is also seeking to strengthen trade links with China, marketing itself as a port of entry into the EU’s single market for Chinese producers. The plan poses risks for the 14 regional airports built or refurbished over the last decade with EU funds, of which a majority is already struggling to be profitable amid passenger traffic intensity that reached only a third of the bloc’s average last year. Under the government plan, the Warsaw Okecie airport would eventually be shut. No potential dates for the closing were given.
Poland Approves Plan to Build $9.6 Billion Central Airport
By Marek Strzelecki (Bloomberg)
November 7, 2017,
Facility aims to handle up to 100 million passengers per year
Warsaw’s Okecie airport faces closure under government plan
Poland will build central airport for as much as 35 billion zloty ($9.6 billion) by 2027, reversing a strategy based on expanding smaller regional ports with the help of funds provided by the European Union.
The facility, which will probably be located in central Poland between Warsaw and Lodz, will be capable of servicing as many as 100 million passengers per year, or three times Poland’s current needs, under a plan approved by the government on Tuesday. Polish airports serviced 34 million passengers in 2016, an increase of 11 percent from a year earlier.
The nation’s air traffic is projected to reach 94 million by 2035, the government said. Poland is also seeking to strengthen trade links with China, marketing itself as a port of entry into the EU’s single market for the Asian country’s producers.
The plan poses risks for the 14 regional airports built or refurbished over the last decade with EU funds, of which a majority is already struggling to be profitable amid passenger traffic intensity that reached only a third of the bloc’s average last year.
Poland has invested at least 5.8 billion zloty to upgrade airports between 2007 and 2015, with 40 percent of the funds coming from the EU. While Poland’s biggest airport in Warsaw has some room to increase capacity from the 13 million passengers it serviced last year, its location within the boundaries of the capital city poses limitations.
Under the government plan, the Warsaw Okecie airport would eventually be shut. No potential dates for the closing were given.
Polish hub airport, road and infrastructure to cost up to $9.8 billion – draft document
WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s planned hub airport and accompanying road and railway improvements are likely to cost up to 34.9 billion zlotys (£7.22 billion), a draft document published by the government’s office on Friday showed.
Government ministers in March recommended building a new airport in central Poland that would begin operations in a decade. The government is expected to formally approve the plan for the “Solidarity” airport in the coming days.
The planned airport is to be built near the village of Stanislawow in the Baranow district between the cities of Warsaw and Lodz, Mikolaj Wild, the government official responsible for its construction said this week.
The airport is one of the flagship infrastructure projects of the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) government, which came to power in late 2015 and remains popular among many Poles despite its clashes with the European Union’s executive arm.
The plan envisages that the airport itself would cost 16 to 19 billion zlotys, the accompanying railway infrastructure would cost 8 to 9 billion zlotys, while new roads and highways 1.8 to 6.9 billion zlotys.
The plan also envisages that a new city could be built near the airport that could include business parks and a conference centre capable of serving the central Europe region.
Experts have said that opening a new Polish hub airport would likely lead to the closure of several existing airports in central Poland. Some experts have said the new airport would struggle to become profitable and fill its capacity.
One of the main proponents of the project had been Polish state airline LOT [LOT.UL], which was saved from bankruptcy in 2012 by public aid, having struggled to compete against low-cost airlines such as Ryanair (RYA.I).
Ryanair, which has a roughly 30 percent share in the Polish market with a base at a small airport near Warsaw, warned the new airport could face the same fate as its German equivalent.
Berlin’s new airport, initially due to opened in 2011, has been beset by technical problems. It is currently scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2018.
Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Keith Weir