Coimbra Mayor calls for Central Portugal international airport

in News · 19-08-2020 10:15:00 · 13 Comments

The Mayor of Coimbra Manuel Machado has said it is “absolutely” essential that an international airport is built in Central Portugal to serve the central region and the rest of the country.

It comes after the idea of opening the Monte Real air base in Leiria to civilian aviation was panned.

In recent years the Mayor had also suggested making an airport from the Cernache municipal airdrome; an idea that was scrapped after studies suggested it would be costly to build a two-kilometre runway there.


I see no mention of the new airport at Beja, sitting idle since completion a few years ago

By Malcolm H from Alentejo on 23-08-2020 09:35

And yes, I totally agree, this proposal for an airport for Cuimbra and central PT is nonsense. Not every little town / region needs its small airport.

By Robert from Lisbon on 22-08-2020 02:31

Well, maybe I did not make myself clear enough, I believe to have the main country airport in the centre of its capital is not just a noisy annoyance but also life-threatening and deadly for many of its habitants, killing quietly and slowly and to even speak of a major increase of its traffic is a total b*******, it defies belief.
Can we expect as the next step the second runway on the Avenida da Liberdade?
In my view, HDA should be phased out with this "newly gained" space in the city centre to be at least partly reclaimed by the nature, used for green recreational areas, a green residential district or similar. I join Dirk in saying that Montijo airport is also an ill fated project, why building right at the natural reserve, surely there are other, better options.
In my view, the only sustainable long term solution is to start working on a plan to build one central airport but OUTSIDE Lisbon city, well connected with a high speed rail or possibly a hyperloop. Such project could surely be co-financed also with the EU funds. All the more so since PT is heavily dependent on tourism and an even increased number of visitors are expected in the future. This is an investment both in our own health and in our own economy.

By Robert from Lisbon on 22-08-2020 02:27

Monies need to be invested in the having a high speed rail network not a new airport in Coimbra! That’s absolutely ridiculous for such a small nation!

By Anna from Madeira on 20-08-2020 11:55

@Annie, you should go back to cave dwelling and take up ancient basket weaving.
Rather than build a totally new airport, it might make more sense to add another runway to existing ones, thereby increasing capacity at a more reasonable cost, as the rest of the surrounding infrastructure needed is already there.

By Billy Bissett from Porto on 20-08-2020 05:56

Agree. Two airports is suficient. Many other priorities to be adressed.

By Armando Magalhaes from USA on 20-08-2020 04:13

No more new airports or new roads anywhere! Driving and flying - the worst pollutants and killers in the world, after diseases. Develop train and bus connections instead. If/when we get rid of the pandemic we still need to address another big issue: climate change.

By Annie from Algarve on 20-08-2020 12:48

I believe the first priority for Portugal and the municipality of Lisbon should be to identify a new location and put up a plan for a new international airport outside of the city centre. I find it shocking and beyond belief that about half of the city population is exposed to immense noise and toxic air pollution due to Humberto Delgado Airport being located in the city itself and no one seems to care enough to mobilise the right ppl and resources to find a long-term solution for it. Several scientific studies have proven serious negative health effects of living in the proximity of the airports, arising from both the toxic air particles emitted by the aircraft as well as the noise pollution, causing among others elevated stress levels which may in turn again be the cause of various ailments, with many long term effects. To say nothing of the catastrophic effect if a plane crash was happen in such an urban environment.
I appeal to both the country as well as to the municipal authorities to put their act together and safe Lisboans from this aviation-plague as soon as possible.

By Robert Saksida from Lisbon on 19-08-2020 09:14

Who is supposed to pay for this high speed rail link? Considering that the motorways in Portugal are mostly empty even a regular bus service would make more sense. Please keep in mind that Coimbra is only 1:30h to 2:00 from Porto or Lisbon airports. Building and maintaining an airport for this is crazy.

By John Dough from Lisbon on 19-08-2020 06:31

absolutely agree with John Dough, this is a completely self indulgent suggestion and will completely destroy the reasons people come to Central Portugal in the first place. Profit and convenience have not been good masters so far, there is no reason to believe that will change.

By Elaine McIntyre from Other on 19-08-2020 05:14

This is pure madness and a complete waste of money that anyway would have to be provided largely by the EU. Visitors can fly easily to Lisbon or Porto and take a rental car (anyway required for Central Portugal), which will take them to Coimbra in less than 1:48 hours from LIS or 1:24h from OPO.

By John Dough from Lisbon on 19-08-2020 01:21

Bravo, finally someone has opened dialogue on the idea to reduce road and air traffic at Lisbon airport and avoid the need for the controversial expansion and increased air traffic in and around Lisbon as well as better serving the needs of the central region travellers.

By John from Other on 19-08-2020 01:17

If it was coupled with a hi-speed rail link to Lisbon, it would be a much better option than the ill fated Montijo project. Most people haven’t read the small print on Montijo. Not only does it mean an airport near a huge migratory bird reserve, the plan includes a major INCREASE in movements at Humberto Delgado Airport.

By Dirk Scott from Lisbon on 19-08-2020 01:06
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